Singing Donkey 'Serenades' A Passerby
Sing it, Harriet. Sing it like no one’s watching. Are we actually hearing a donkey hit #G4? This video can’t possibly be dubbed, can it?
Martin in rural Galway, Ireland assured his acquaintances that he was a friend with a singing donkey, one that made sounds like no other donkey. Of course, Martin’s friends couldn’t be blamed for being skeptical, so naturally they might ask for proof. Well, here’s the proof. Harriet the donkey does, indeed, make singing noises that are probably like no other donkey anyone’s ever heard. Furthermore, Harriet seems to be dedicating her serenade especially for her visiting human friend Martin.
It’s a beautiful day in Galway. The pasture is still full of green grass, although we see the trees of October have dropped their leaves for the year. Perhaps there is a bit of chill in the air, with diffuse white clouds lolling haphazardly across the sky amid a backdrop of azure and cerulean. Harriet’s domain is a rugged landscape replete with ancient stone structures, some of it being walls corralling Harriet, herself; and some of it beyond stacked in the ruins of houses and other buildings with stories all their own. Harriet is undisturbed by visitors who pass along her country road.
Seeing Martin, Harriet faces to greet him as Martin walks toward her on the other side of a stone wall. She huffs, and puffs, and grunts, warming up her golden voice box. Then, the unbelievable happens: Harriet, like an operatic diva, belts out a sustained note. Was this taught, or is she a prodigy? The sight is as incredible as the sound, for she seems to strike a deliberate pose, holding her chin up. Is this an audition for Europe’s Got Talent? Simon Cowell must be hiding around here somewhere…
Harriet’s performance has actually caused a stir around the world, not only on the usual Internet channels, but also on traditional major news networks. She is phenomenal in the literal sense, an aberration of animal behavior. The concept of singing animals is not new. Harriet eerily resurrects Willie the Whale, who in a 1946 Disney cartoon short sings an operatic Largo al in “The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met”. These are usual fantastic parodies caricatured in animations, or studio edited videos, but hardly ever in real life. Parrots and similar birds, of course, mimic human vocalizations. Some dogs like malamutes can howl and cry in surprisingly odd sounds. But Harriet is undeniably different. She gives the impression that she knows she is trying to do something very un-donkey-like.
So much effort goes into the bizarre high pitched bellow, in fact, that Harriet almost goes momentarily hoarse, as she respires to catch her wind, and go at it again. It’s likely Harriet has no concept of being on camera or the propagation of her likeness around the world. All she knows is that her friend Martin is here, and this aria is dedicated especially for him. When she is finished, Harriet modestly returns to grazing the knobby pasture she calls home.