Searcy, Arkansas: population – 18, 928 (although that’s likely to change with this year’s census). Located 50 minutes north of Little Rock, 2 hours west of Memphis, and smack dab in the middle of the rural Delta. Our only claims to fame are the Yarnell’s ice cream factory located “downtown” and the ultra-conservative Harding University. The only business open after 10:00pm was Wal-Mart and there is a certain stigma that goes along with playing in the Wal-Mart isles after dark, so my friends and I tried to avoid it. In an effort to cure our boredom one night, we all decided to go driving. So, 6 16-year olds (with shiny new drivers licenses) piled into my 5-person car and decided to go cruising through the “suburbs” of our beloved Searcy. We ended up in Kensett (or ken-SAT to the locals), population – 6 plus one coon dog….and one zedonk.
Yes, you read correctly, it’s a zedonk. Personally, I think that zonkey would have been more of an appropriate name, but no one asked me. Anyway, it’s a merger of a donkey and a zebra living in a couple’s front yard. Where did this thing come from, you might ask? There are several urban legends that circulate every once in a while claiming the beginnings of this chimera. The most popular being that the zedonk was bred to be a circus creature, but the residents of Kensett rescued the poor thing from the abusive ringmaster. Who knows if this is actually correct, no one has yet had the guts to ring the doorbell and actually ask.
Everyone from my hometown can you tell you a different story about their experiences with the zedonk. Rumor has that the animal enjoys the cheap lollipops from the grocery store and that its name is actually “Trouble” (although, we’re not sure if Trouble is the zedonk or the dog that also lives in the same yard).
So, if you’re bored one weekend Vanderbilt students, it’s a beautiful five hour drive to Kensett and the infamous zedonk – I’d be happy to give you directions.