Hybrid critter cheers Gardnerville woman
November 12, 2004
GARDNERVILLE – There’s a new striped friend at Dave Tyndall’s ranch.
Marjorie Springmeyer, at 82, said she was depressed about politics at South Lake Tahoe and decided that buying a zedonk – half zebra, half donkey- might make her happy.
She called three of her friends, and Tyndall, a fencing contractor and part-time rancher, said he’d go in with her on the investment. Neither would divulge the price.
“We went in partners,” said Springmeyer. “He paid half and I paid half.”
“And I’m the one who got kicked,” Tyndall said.
The idea was planted in her head about a year ago after reading a Tahoe Daily Tribune article about a couple in Shingle Springs, Calif., who raises zedonks. When Springmeyer inquired about the hybrid animals, the breeder’s wife informed her that her husband had since died, and she consented to sell one of their four zedonks.
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As of Oct. 9, Springmeyer and Tyndall own Skeeter.
Skeeter is the son of Touchdown, a donkey, and Zella, a zebra. Skeeter has a sister named Zellarina.
Skeeter makes a sound kind of like a hee-haw only higher pitched, said Tyndall.
Zedonks cannot reproduce, as it is with most hybrids, according to the Tahoe Daily Tribune article.
It was a rainy day and Skeeter appeared a little skittish around the press, but Tyndall and his friend, Jack Curry, 17, of Gardnerville say they’re determined to tame him in time for the Carson Valley Days Parade the second week in June.
“Get ready because you’re going to be in the Carson Valley Days Parade,” said Tyndall to Springmeyer, who was wearing zebra-striped gloves that Tyndall had bought for her.
“No, I’m not going to ride in the parade,” Springmeyer said.
Curry nodded. “We’re going to have him more broke than a Cadillac, Marjorie,” he said.
Curry said he started roping at 3 years old when he moved from Oklahoma.
Springmeyer is no stranger to donkeys and burros. She grew up on the J Lazy J Ranch just up the street from Tyndall’s ranch and was given her first little white burro at the age of 11 months. Her father purchased the burro for her after it appeared in the movie “Lightnin'” featuring Will Rogers, when it was filmed at Lake Tahoe where Springmeyer’s family spent the summers.
Since then, Springmeyer has always loved the “creatures of labor.”
“It all goes back to as a child I believed that donkeys and burros made the world,” she said.
At one time Springmeyer and her husband, Melvin “Buzz” Springmeyer, now 85, owned about 40 burros.
“My sons put themselves through college giving burro rides in Lake Tahoe,” Springmeyer said.
Marjorie and Buzz Springmeyer are now real estate agents, which, in a roundabout way, is how word got out about her owning Skeeter. She said she blames John Hamer of Coldwell Banker, whom she told about the zedonk in a real estate class while on a break.
Jo Rafferty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 782-5121, ext. 213.