We physically introduced all four boys to each other early Saturday afternoon. There was a lot of the flehmen response going on as everyone got accustomed to new smells.

We knew there was going to be an adjustment period as they figured out their hierarchy. Bernard’s introduction to Fergus and Nigel was completely uneventful.

Given Ellsworth’s status as head donkey, we thought things probably wouldn’t play out as smoothly with him. Even before we allowed them to meet physically, Ellsworth was charging the fence with his ears pinned back each time Fergus or Nigel got close. Sure enough, once we let him loose, Ellsworth went straight to Fergus and Nigel to let them know he was in charge.

Fergus and Nigel really weren’t having it. I admit there were moments when I felt I couldn’t breathe.

Ellsworth looked maniacal at times.

Don would step in to calm things down.

And then it would start back up again.

Thank goodness Ellsworth always knew to keep his chin up.

He did get kicked square in the chest quite a few times though.

In the end, it appears Ellsworth maintained head donkey status, along with a healthy respect for both Fergus and Nigel. It’s clear they aren’t going to tolerate being bullied, Fergus especially.

Ellsworth got a lot of extra love and attention that afternoon.

And peace once again returned to Morning Bray Farm.