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A Sicilian Donkey’s Courage Gave Them Hope

When Carolyn and Alan LeGrand were going through a tough time trying to care for their Oklahoma family farm, it was one of their Sicilian donkeys that reminded them they could persevere.

Carolyn and Alan LeGrand were stretched thin. They were running their farm equipment business, caring for Carolyn’s 90-year-old mother as she recovered from a broken hip and driving 130 miles roundtrip several times a week to feed the animals and tend the crops on the farm her parents had purchased years before. But the courage exhibited by one of those animals, a Sicilian donkey named Sissy who had troubles of her own, reminded the LeGrands that they could persevere even in difficult times. Click through to meet the LeGrand’s donkeys, and if you’d like to see more stories like this, check out All Creatures magazine.

Carolyn and Alan

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Several times a week, Carolyn and Alan drive 130 miles from their home in Stillwater, Oklahoma, to the farm to tend to the land and care for the animals. Carolyn’s parents had bought the farm when they retired back in the 1970s.


The herd of miniature-sized Sicilian donkeys with cross-shaped markings on their backs guard the cattle.

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The herd of miniature-sized Sicilian donkeys with cross-shaped markings on their backs guard the cattle.

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Carolyn with Sissy

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The herd of miniature-sized Sicilian donkeys with cross-shaped markings on their backs guard the cattle.


sissy_4_0

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At one point, it all seemed like too much to handle. Carolyn’s mother had broken her hip, they’d lost the help of others and a severe drought had dried up the land.


Caroyn and Alan's Sicilian donkeys

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One of the donkeys, Sissy, was pregnant but when she went into labor, the foal was backwards and upside down and didn’t survive the birth. In that moment as Sissy lay on the ground, Carolyn and Alan didn’t know if Sissy would make it either.


Sissy did survive that traumatic labor and birthed a healthy foal the following spring.

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Sissy did survive that traumatic labor and birthed a healthy foal the following spring. After helping her baby to its feet, Sissy picked herself up, her cross facing heaven.


Watching Sissy overcome such an obstacle served as a reminder to the LeGrands that God will guide them too.

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Watching Sissy overcome such an obstacle served as a reminder to the LeGrands that God will guide them too. 

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Carolyn tends to her donkeys

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The farm survived the drought. The long drive to tend crops and feed animals is taxing but truly rewarding.


Carolyn and Alan give Sissy some attention

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What better way to embrace God’s love than to care for another of his creatures?

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