By Dave Frank
Appeal Staff Writer
VIRGINIA CITY - Charlie had glitter on his back, a boa around his neck and streamers tied to his ankles.
He'd been standing in a parking lot for two hours, but he didn't want to be there to begin with.
The horses nearby scared him, and, as the Virginia City Independence Day Parade got ready to start, it looked like it might rain.
Charlie hated rain.
"He almost didn't make it today," said Christina Brokaw of Wild Ass Women, a group that adopts wild donkeys from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. "He wasn't into getting up early this morning, and I don't think he enjoys it (the parade) quite as much as the rest of us do."
Wild Ass Women, one of about 200 groups registered at the Friday parade, often takes donkeys like Charlie to shows and parades. Brokaw said the idea that donkeys are uncooperative isn't true.
"It's more of 'I think I don't want to do this,'" she said, "then you're like 'yes you do want to do it' and they do it. Really, they're no worse than a horse. They're really not."
This is at least true for her donkey, Kissed By a Full Moon. Charlie, however, sometimes refuses to go to events, and almost did the same with the Fourth of July parade.
"He didn't want to come out of the paddock, he didn't want to get in the trailer and he most definitely didn't want to walk up C Street (in Virginia City) to this point," said Rebecca Cullen, Charlie's owner.
She said she's not sure why Charlie is like that, because his sister Scarlet, is a "social butterfly."
Several other donkeys from the group at the parade were more cooperative than Charlie before and during the parade, but they didn't all behave.
Kissed by a Full Moon tried to eat 10-year-old Josie Herrera's small American flag. Scarlet ran from a horse. Pancho Villa, who was wearing the ribbons he's won at a donkey competition, head butted one of Wild Ass Women's male banner carriers in the groin.
But, when the parade started, the donkeys walked quietly down the parade street amid dancers, Shriners, soldiers, foxhounds, political candidates and classic cars.
Herrera sat on Pancho Villa and carried her flag.
"I really like to ride Pancho and I really just like to hang around Pancho," she said.
Charlie walked along, too, speeding up whenever the horses behind him got close.
Contact reporter Dave Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.