Ebenezer the Donkey: A Real Fairy Tale Story
A new Ebenezer book as been put together as a PDF download. The book chronicles the journey of Ebenezer through his charmed life. This book is designed to be viewed by fans of all ages to get a concise, picture filled journey through his life.
You can view it
as a PDF on your PC, iPhone, iPad or any number of eBook readers.
Click here to download or view.
All cities across this America tend to have symbols of whom they are or where they came from. As a resident of Midtown Kansas City for about the past 8 years, I used to see the scout on Signal Hill overlooking downtown Kansas City, Missouri as a symbol of comfort.
Now that I have returned to the suburbs, I have found the silent, yet powerful symbol for Grandview. It’s a simple donkey that resides in a spacious pasture down from Main Street in his own shanty shack.
The local icon goes by the name of Ebenezer and he is owned by Ben and Victoria Alvarado of Ruskin Heights.
“I was searching for a name that was appropriate for him,” Ben stated recently in the stall housing Ebenezer, “After looking through the Bible, I decided on Ebenezer because it means that God has brought us this far. I think about how Ebenezer has brought us this far.”
The story of Ebenezer began way back in 1967 when they were on a trip to Israel. They took this trip after attending a bible study and got inspired to join a touring group trying to retrace the actual walk of Jesus.
“While in Israel, I saw kids playing with a donkey and they were so happy,” Ben started. “So, when I got back to Kansas City, I looked in the paper and found a horse farm. He was the only burro and I decided to buy him.”
Ben and Victoria purchased Ebenezer when he was only 2 years old. His official birthday is April 10, 1979 and he has a life expectancy of nearly 80 years. At this point, he has only lived half of his life collecting the deserved accolade as a local icon.
“I think he is a local legend,” Ben began as Victoria proudly nodded beside him. “I mean, everyone knows him. Many people from the city and police department come down and feed him on a regular basis.”
Ben noted with a hearty laugh that his favorite characteristic of Ebenezer is his stubbornness. Although, Victoria was quick to add with clarity that he’s a very smart animal and will follow directions very well.
During a recent parade for the Truman Days in Downtown Grandview, Ben got a call from a man named Joe that has a house next to Ebenezer’s field. He urged Ben to come quickly because Ebenezer had gotten out of the gate that keeps Ebenezer from wandering away.
“When I arrived, Joe said that Ebenezer was back in the barn,” Ben said with a strident smile. “As the story goes, a woman from the parade told him to go back into his barn and he did just that.”
Ebenezer’s favorite thing to do is to play around and entertain the locals that feed him food. Personally, I bring my two boys, Miles (2 years old) and Zen (8 years old) to feed Ebenezer a host of carrots and apples. Each time we approach the gates and turn the engine off, he comes running in a huff letting out loud screams of joy as we all give him some food.
“He does a lot of running and kicking,” Ben noted. “I typically chase him around and he chases me around until I get tired.”
Ebenezer doesn’t only attract errant folks that drive by his pasture; he’s also a leader in the animal world. Several days before our interview, Ben noted that he went to groom Ebenezer, which he does every couple of days, and couldn’t find him anywhere. So, he went up a steep hill up from his barn to find him with some new friends.
“As I got towards the top of the hill and was whistling, he suddenly appeared in a loud whoosh,” Ben began with a healthy smile. “And he had about 6 deer following him. He made three circles around me. I have never seen him do that.”
Ben and Victoria have no interest in acquiring any more donkeys or other animals. They are very satisfied with Ebenezer. The couple has five children and about 13 grandkids. They noted that the kids really don’t come around anymore to appease Ebenezer.
In conclusion, Ben pointed out a cross that is on the back of Ebenezer and said they call him a Jesus donkey. He was quick to point out that the term came about because Jesus actually rode a donkey himself.
I find the Ebenezer, the Jesus Donkey, a fitting comparison to the Indian on a horse I used to admire in my city days. The view of downtown Kansas City, MO with its blanket of quiet was always refreshing.
It feels good to be back
in the country and to have a reliable icon that my kids and I can nourish
whenever we like. Plus, we all have another 40 years to watch a local
institution age gracefully and give us all a reason to smile as we barrel
down that patent country road just outside of downtown Grandview, Missouri.