Farewell Simon

So fellow travelers  there is one less ass in the world and you may be surprised to learn we are worse off for the loss.


I am grateful to have connected with Jon Katz and Maria Wulf  through the Bedlam Farm Creative Group.  I have made so many wonderful friends as a result of this unique and genuine community. Still I have to say being befriended by Simon is perhaps one of the greatest blessings of this connection. Wait, you ask did I actually say “befriended by a donkey?”  Yes,  indeed I did.  But not any common ass (although read Jon Katz’ latest book Saving Simon and you will realize there are no common donkeys.)

You see as a young teen I was thrown from a horse.  I was a reluctant participant in some trial riding lessons, something I did when pushed by social pressure to fit in. The so called friends I was trying to emulate mocked me for my lack of equestrine skill.  I learned a valuable lesson about peer pressure and true friendship from that experience however I never really overcame my fear of horses.  I tried riding several times over the years, but always felt awkward in the presence of horses.  Until I attended the Bedlam Farm Open House in September 2013 where I first met Simon.  He was so gracious in accepting my hesistant offering of a carrot, nuzzling me gently when I rubbed his nose.  I literally felt all the trauma from my past experience melt away from deep in my heart. My subsequent visits to Bedlam Farm in 2014 were punctuated by reunions with Simon.  His melodious bray made my heart sing. Ever a dog person I was surprised but joyful at this equine connection. His healing gift also made it possible for me to stand fearlessly in the middle of Jeff Anderson’s pasture as his magnificent horses thundered majestically around those of us who attended his photo workshop on the Monday following last October’s open house making it possible for me to capture shots like these.




Simon has left Bedlam Farm, but he left a healing hoof print on my soul forever.  Thank you Jon and Maria for sharing Simon with us.

Deborah H Rahalski

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