BOOKS: Donkey: The Mystique of Equus Asinus

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2007:

Donkey: The Mystique of Equus Asinus
by Michael Tobias & Jane Morrison
Council Oak Books (2105 E. 15th Street, Suite B,
Tulsa, OK 74104), 2006. 213 pages, hard
cover. $19.95.

“This book has emerged out of our
responses to donkeys: donkeys as a species and
donkeys as individuals,” write co-authors
Michael Tobias and Jane Morrison, longtime
partners in producing books and films about
nature and animals, and in directing the
California-based Dancing Star Found-ation
wildlife sanctuary.
“The book grazes, feeding on a landscape
both real and historical, imagined, desired and
underfoot, inspired by a creature that has,
strangely, embedded itself into the very fabric
of philosophy, religion, art, the environment,
human history, as well as in our hearts,”
Tobias and Morrison continue. “Donkeys did not
bray for this attention, but their own subtle
beauty and gentleness have attracted our kind,
while their utility has brought them loads of

As well as reviewing the interaction of
donkeys with humans through history, Tobias and
Morrison discuss the individual personalities of
donkeys. Chapter headings include “A
transcendent reality begins to emerge,” “The
quiet solace of donkeys,” “The secret
imagination of donkeys’” and “The genius of
Though Tobias and Morrison cover many
events in the history of donkeys, and have often
endorsed animal advocacy organizations and
causes, from Animal Acres to PETA, they oddly
omit any reference to the famous wild burro
rescues carried out by Cleveland Amory and The
Fund for Animals in Grand Canyon National Park,
which helped to bring national recognition to the
rise of the animal rights movement.
–Bev Pervan
South Africa

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