Apparently the donkeys were mostly used for breeding mules. This type of donkey has nearly died out -- mules not being used for farm work any more. There is a re-breeding program going on in France, where the donkeys originated.
I want a mule if hubby said a horse is out of the picture. You'd see me riding it, that's for sure. Then for its friend, a donkey would be cool. Those are OK when all brown & shaggy, but adorable when black & young.