I found this in my email "out" box, dated 23/08/2004, addressed to my closest colleagues at the university. I had forgotten the email, but not the incident itself (it resulted in a slipped disc, a briefly dislocated shoulder and some bruised ribs). It raises a smile now, a few years on:
Conversation with Tess:
T: Mum, you're not going to work today are you? Not like that you're not.
Me: no, love, I'll stay home today. But how shall I explain to my colleagues why I'm not coming in?
T: Just tell the truth! You're really tired AND you got run over by a couple of donkeys and you've done your back in.
Me: Not sure they'll believe the donkey bit, Tess. It's a bit unusual. Escaped, semi-feral donkeys may not be very common around the university, but hey, this is the wilds of Booyong.
T: To the donkeys themselves they're not unusual; they're just donkeys. And the donkeys haven't seen many lecturers either. In fact they haven't seen anybody I think. Which is why they go completely bonkers when you need to catch them. We're not going to keep donkeys, are we Mum? Horses are heaps easier, they don't go off their rockers like these do and charge you and climb walls and go completely psycho.
Me: Um, no, Tess. We're not going to keep donkeys.
T: Good. They're nuts. How's your back?
Me: Oh, okay I guess. Help me get up.
T: You're not going to work.
love from Mieke & Tess, see ya in a few days ...
It says a lot for my colleagues that they took this in their stride ...