Last weekend, I had a run in with an interesting animal while covering an event.


On Saturday, I attended farming heritage day at the Sam Rayburn House Historic Site in Bonham. While there, I got to see some animals that are not normally at the house as well as meet one that has his own room on the property.


For the event, the site brought in many attractions. The live ones included cattle, goats and bees. There were also antique and modern tractors, an ice cream making station, a cotton gin station, and a butter churning station.


But, what I was most interested in caught my eye as soon as I drove into the parking lot. It was Mr. Sam’s donkey.


Since Sam Rayburn was a farmer, a lot of the items on the site are the same as or similar to the ones that Rayburn had while he lived there. A donkey would have been an important part of Rayburn’s farming days, Sam Rayburn House Curator Anne Rupert told me.


What was great about the donkey was that he was not just a farm donkey roaming around on the property — he was the main greeter at the historic site. As I exited my vehicle, he yelled at me from behind his fence. He had watched me pull in and no one is allowed in the house without speaking to him first, Rupert told me.


For the visitors that do make it past the donkey, Rupert said a “hee haw” is in store for them. Rupert even said that the donkey has attempted to bite people that come to speak to him without a treat in their hands.


I went over to him and said hello, but kept my hands to myself in case he was not in the best of moods. He twitched his tail and happily trotted away. I guess he was satisfied with my greeting.


As far as mascots go, Mr. Sam’s donkey seems like a pretty cool one. Rupert said that he often participates in school tours where Rupert can teach children a lesson in politics in the form of a riddle.


“Mr. Sam was a Democrat, and he had a donkey,” Rupert said. “If he was a Republican, what kind of animal would be possibly have had?”



Happy birthday to Tony Rains, Josh Holloway, McKinley Keller and Spruce Keller, all of Sherman; Beth Burfield of Pottsboro; and Wilburn C. Baker of Brazil, Indiana.


Happy anniversary to Karen and Randy Harmon of Denison, 23 years.