I was moping around outside in the cold, when Keith drove up. We went inside and changed into warmer clothing. I cut up a few carrots and stuffed my pockets. Keith grabbed two halters and leads, then we headed off further into our neighbor's 30 acres of woods.
We called. Keith whistled. We tromped along with our flashlights. The rain had stopped, and the trees were shaking off a few drops in the breeze.
Suddenly, Keith stopped: "Be quiet for a sec."
We both stopped and listened. After a few moments, he turned and flashed his light behind us. There was Molly coming up the deer-path behind us. Ambrose was close behind. It had taken them less than 20 minutes to find us in the strange woods (well, 20 minutes if we overlook the hour and a half that I had searched the edges of our property calling, whistling, and trying to find the donkeys.)
They happily nibbled some proffered carrots as they followed us up to the front of Keith's workshop. At this point, they were standing in our driveway, looking disinclined to head towards the lit-up barn. Why should they go to the barn? They were too busy having a donkey-venture!
It took a good many bites of carrot and some coaxing to get the donkeys to step back into their fenced-in home. After we settled them down to a late supper of hay, Keith and I walked along the fence-lines to look for their escape route. He checked a small, seldom-used "pedestrian" gate on the other side of the barn paddock - it was open.
What a relief to know they are safe and to know how they managed to get out in the first place. With that accomplished, the next thing we all need is a good night's sleep! Good night, everyone!