A donkey and a goat who live in the middle of old Quebec City hosted a multicultural Christmas sing-a-long Friday.
It might sound like a peculiar event, but as their owners told Global News, the two animals have a unique way of bringing different communities together.
Aldo the donkey and Holly the goat were a little distracted at the annual Aldo’s Christmas concert held in their honour at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, but they were a joyful distraction to those who came to sing.
At one point, Holly knocked down a sign in order to eat the Christmas greenery around it, making her guests laugh.
Aldo came to live in Old Quebec five years ago, when he moved with his owner, Sarah Blair.
Holly moved last year to keep Aldo company as donkeys don’t live well on their own.
“When we moved to Quebec, I was looking for a place,” Blair explained.
“I really wanted to keep him in the city because having seen donkeys in the cities in Europe, I just thought it would be so great.”
At first, Blair tried to keep the animals a secret, but she discovered it’s hard to hide a donkey.
“Gradually, his celebrity took over and he became one of the ‘chéri du Vieux Quebec.'”
“A lot of people wanted to come together with Aldo the second winter he was here,” said Reverend Cynthia Patterson.
“Today, we were about at least 68 people from how many countries and how many continents.”
What is it about these animals that attracts so many people?
“People want to pat them, people want to laugh with them. We’re reconnected with something very, very basic when we’re with animals,” Patterson said.
“And you know, it was never planned. Sarah wrote and said, ‘Would it be possible if my donkey was to live in your backyard?'”
“I think it’s about saying ‘yes’ to life.”