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Good-bye Old Friends



 Hi!  My name is Gethsemane, and I am a donkey here at Schuster’s Playtime Farm.  I have lived here off and on for 22 years now, and I have made lots of friends.  It was with a heavy heart that I said good-bye to two of my best friends last winter. 

 Cherokee, the donkey, and I spent a lot of time together.  We were “field trip” buddies the last few years.  Cherokee, with his sad eyes, droopy ears, and patient nature earned himself the nickname of Eeyore, and was a favorite with all of the children as he would make his way along the fence so that everyone would get a chance to pet him.  

Cherokee came to the farm when Hugh, now a college student, was a toddler.  He was part of a six hitch team that pulled the Schuster’s parade cart, and he was always the slow one!  Cherokee was in his twenties, and lived a long happy life with his donkey and llama friends!


Cherokee with the Schuster family in 2001

Our  llama friend, Carmel, had plenty of adventures on the farm as well.  I remember that he came here as a baby, so he was almost twenty years old.  As a young llama, Carmel broke his leg.  We weren’t sure if he would survive, as that kind of injury can be a disaster for a llama, but Dr. Peterson, the vet from Stoughton, wrapped his leg up well and kept him going.  

Carmel wound up in a pen in the petting area at the Dane County Fair, which turned out to be the best thing for him.  The forced inactivity allowed his leg to heal, and maybe all of the extra love from the fair-goers helped with that, too!  As he grew up, Carmel became an actor in the Nativity Plays at the Schuster’s church.  He played the part of a camel, and he did a great job!  Very stately, sweet, and serious, Carmel was a sort of guardian on the farm.  

He was always watching everything that went on at the farm, and was ready to alert his friends to anything they needed to know about!  Carmel spent most of his time hanging around with the donkeys, and we will really miss him!