Are Donkeys The Most Misunderstood Animals? My Love for Jenny from Banshees of Inisherin

I know quite a few people named Jenny. Lately, however, anytime anyone mentions this name to me, all I can think of is a donkey. 

Yes! You read it right, a donkey! 

The days when the name would port me to the numerous ‘Jenny’ songs are over. Thanks to a spectacular movie I recently watched, called The Banshees of Inisherin.

I will not spoil the movie for you; I love it too much to do that. This movie offers something quite unique and timeless. 

Here’s a quick peek: 

Granted, Farell’s Padraic and Gleeson’s Colm were a major draw, but in my mind, Jenny was more of a star than anyone else.

After watching the movie, I was so obsessed with her that I broke my cardinal rule about not bingeing on chat shows. I searched the internet for every little clip I could find on the cast being interviewed about the movie during the promotional tour. 

Although Farell and Gleeson, in all their majestic Irish humor, were flooring the audience in every single one of those, I secretly hoped they would mention her somewhere in the conversation, and oh, how my heart would skip a beat when they did.

Why all this fuss?

Well, for one, you never see donkeys occupying much screen space in any movie these days. You would have a fair share of the furry creatures- the cute dogs and cats of the world that warm the hearts of humans all over the planet. They find their way in many movies and TV shows; they are suited to almost every setting too.

Getting married? Your best man could be a dog!

Feeling the life blues? Your favorite pet is right by your side, comforting you.

Is your girlfriend grief-stricken by the passing of her pet? See her eyes light up as you get her a little pup or a kitten.

Some pets are so devoted to their caretakers that they would wait and receive them back from work every day, and in some tragic cases, they continue to do so years after their caretakers pass (Hachiko, anyone?).

As worldly as these might sound, these are all real stories, and if you are a movie fanatic, you have seen most of their screen adaptations.

Now cats and dogs you see every day. Even horses if you own a ranch or relish these ubiquitous cowboy TV shows. 

Donkeys, however, are not as easy to come by on screen. 

They are not as cute as your furry little pets, nor are they slender and handsome like horses. They are neither as maternal as cows nor nervous as chickens. 

I understand donkeys only from childhood story-reading – Aesop Fables and Panchatantra. Donkeys in those works were predominantly reflected as stupid but very hard-working creatures. Bonnie Jo Campbell, a famed American attorney, and politician, once said, “Donkeys are the most misunderstood and abused animals around the world.” 

My little understanding of donkeys acquired from these stories makes me agree with her.

Seeing Jenny in Banshees of Inisherin brought a new and overpowering feeling of love towards this animal. I chuckled when the movie cast called her ‘the diva of the set, kicking Farrell and a couple others during the shoot. 

a still from the movie "banshees of inisherin" which shows the donkey Jenny following a man
Jenny, in all her glory

However, in the film itself, she is an absolute sweetheart. Ignorant as I am, I had absolutely no idea that an animal like that could be tamed like that. Tamed to behave, even like a human at times! It was heartwarming, to say the least.

I was raving about her so much to family and friends that they gave me merchandise with her picture. I secretly think that is so they can make me shut up about her. 

I daydream of the day when I win the lottery and buy a farm full of donkeys in it. While that’s in the works, I have become a freakishly proud owner of a T-shirt with a VERY BIG picture of a donkey on it. I have worn it so many times that it is starting to look old.

Maybe it’s not the shirt; it’s me. 

Jenny tells me now is the time to bray away from that train of thought.


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