himar © 2012 . All rights reserved.


There is a cheerful quality in the neat brisk sound of trotting donkey feet on hard ground. And it is pleasant too, to sit on a donkey pack, when you know how to do it, without rigidity, meeting the jolts and caprices of your companion with an elastic temper and a capacity for balance, riding, in fact, as one rides through life, with a calm eye for accidents and a taste for enjoyment in the meantime.

My own donkey was called Suwaidi and was a stalwart little animal with hairy ears and a thick neck and grey like a dappled sky. When I asked his name, they told me he had none, he was just donkey–“ himar. ” “ That is impossible, ” said I. “ He must have a name, or how can you tell him from the other himars ? ”

Whereupon the small Muhammad, loping along with a stick beside me, gave me one of his smiles and told me the name, which his elders had evidently considered beneath my notice.

Freya Stark
The Southern Gates of Arabia