Welcome to my blog! This is a site where you can keep up to date on my life as a full-time athlete in the sport of cross country skiing. You can expect regular updates throughout the year as I report on training, racing, life in general and maybe even some school. Sponsors, family, friends and fans: Enjoy!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The price you pay for jumping a stone wall to feed a donkey

No, the title is not a metaphor for anything. On my last day in Québec, Justine (one of my gracious hosts in Vieux Québec), Ian Murray (who was staying with Justine as well), and I went on an adventure to meet the one and only donkey in the entire Ville de Québec. Concealed beneath a small shelter in a stone courtyard behind a church, said donkey lives a meagre and secret existence as Justine's father, David, who is a lawyer, wages legal warfare with the town to allow the rearing of Aldo, the affable and shaggy donkey. Living off the charity of generous carrot-offering tourists, Aldo has gained a somewhat cult following within the community and is, among other things, launching a calendar for this year's holiday season.

Through a raging snowstorm, Justine, Ian and I approached the windswept courtyard that houses the timid donkey, and were confronted with a stone wall. Upon scaling and leaping over the wall our troupe was beset by the territorial chastisement of a lady who turned out to be the bishop's wife, whose property Aldo is housed on. With justified suspicion of donkey abuse, the bishop's wife was adamant. Adamant until she recognized Justine, whose aunt happens to be the proud owner of Aldo. With that, our unannounced visit to the donkey switched from chastisement to encouragement. This, however, was not the last we would see of the bishop's wife.

Aldo and his companion goat. 

After disheveled fur was patted and proffered carrots were gobbled up, it was time to climb back over the wall. My ungraceful struggle over was accompanied by a disheartening ripping sound. In one fateful motion, the jeans I was wearing were torn asunder. It quickly dawned on me that this was a pressing matter indeed as these were the only pants I had brought on my trip East other than spandex and warm-up pants. And our ride to the airport for our flight back west was scheduled to leave in the next 15 minutes...

Luckily, Simons was only a hop, skip and a jump away. Pressed for time, I quickly tried on several pairs of jeans, was able to select one (no small feat for my short legs, narrow waist and big butt), and we were off. Hustling back up the snowy streets of Vieux Québec we passed by a lady hauling a christmas tree through the snowdrifts. The stooped over bishop's wife was quick to conscript our labour to take a detour through the nearby German market to collect and haul back to the church the remaining few christmas trees that were being donated to refugee families for the holidays.

With hands frostbitten and abraded from the rough bark of les sapins, we couldn't help but laugh at the events of the last 20 minutes as we loaded our things into the car to begin our journey home.

Merry Christmas.

No comments: