I started elementary school in 1966 at Westwood Terrace in San Antonio, Texas. While I was there, I heard many local legends. Later I found that anyone who had gone to school in San Antonio had heard of the Donkey Lady.
Now the way I heard it, back in the fifties, a young woman had been in a fire. (My wife says she heard the Donkey Lady had lost two children in that fire and that her husband had started it). She was left horribly disfigured.
It was said that when her face healed, all the skin had something of a drooped, baggy appearance. Her fingers had all fused together, leaving dark stumps, or hooves. Disfigured and totally insane, she stayed mostly in the rural areas of Bexar (pronounced "bear") County and terrorized anyone who approached her. As children, when we could stay out late on summer nights, we would all describe what we thought she looked like. We were absolutely positive she waited in the darkness for us to separate so she could pounce on a lone victim, ripping and chewing… well you get the idea.
Most of the Donkey Lady stories have faded into memory, but one was a little harder to shake. One of best my friends told of a cousin who was with his father and brother on a weekend outing. They were going to camp and do a little fishing in an unofficial county park. The group pulled up to a weed infested area off a dirt road and began to make camp. The two boys had the task of unloading the pickup truck while the father found a suitable spot for the tent. While unloading the truck one of the boys heard a rustling in the weeds just ahead of the truck. He told his brother, who in turn called out to their father to come to the truck. The three of them watched the tall weeds beneath the oaks away from the road bend under the weight of what was apparently a large animal. Then they heard an odd snorting sound and a high-pitched snarl. The father, not recognizing the sounds coming from the "animal," decided they probably ought to find another spot to set up camp.
The three of them quickly threw the tent, sleeping bags, and gear into the back of their truck. While packing up, the father watched out of the corner of his eye, as the weeds shook nearby. The prowler moved away from the trees and began heading for the general area of the road. The father urgently whispered for the boys to get in the truck– fast! All three of them were in the truck in a flash and the father started it up. He put the truck in gear and was just pulling out in the road when something fast and large burst out of the weeds and ran at the front of the truck. Seconds later, a horrible apparition bounded up onto their hood and began shrieking at them through the glhappy. It was the ugliest thing any of them ever saw. They swore it looked like a donkey, but it was mostly human. It screamed at them more as the truck continued to move away from the weeds and into the road. It used its deformed hands to punch at the windshield and broke it in many places.
The father hit the brakes. The thing slid off the hood and onto the dirt road. Throwing the truck into reverse, the father floored the gas pedal and put some distance between them and the thing backing into the weeds off the road. He then put the truck into first and stepped on it again. That thing was coming up on them fast. They said it almost looked like a wild animal with an incredible look of rage and hatred in its eyes. Dirt sprayed up from the road at the beast as they pulled out, slowing it down just enough for them to get away.
The Donkey Lady supposedly had finally dropped back and headed into the weeds. After the story was told, and my friend let it be known that he thought it was a nice story but, well, it was a nice story. Then he was taken outside and shown the truck. The windshield was almost knocked out. The hood was dented and its paint was scuffed and scraped.
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