Natasha Dart, or simply Dart to her friends, is a sheep we would never have met had she not attempted to fulfill the dream her heart made.
It was to take her through hell to realise it. With the smell of death filling her nostrils, and its impending doom set to claim her body, Dart dared to do what every other sheep faced with such a circumstance dreams of doing. She fled. Leaving the abattoir behind, her would-be executioners soon gave up the chase, deeming Dart not worth the effort.
Heaving heavily from the ordeal, Dart looked this way and that before she settled herself down. Her chosen spot was the vantage point atop a pile of crushed rock in a noisy factory yard nearby. From here she could not only catch her breath but also catch sight of any “predator” who came after her.
And they soon did.
Although their form was the same as those menacing ones whose words were harsh and hands even harsher, there was something different about them. But Dart could not afford to wait around and find out just what that was; she was after all a prey animal. And so, with a mixture of adrenaline and fear, she fled, and feverishly so. Yet, unbeknown to her at that time, these folk were truly different.
What came next was how Dart got her name and fulfilled her dream.
Now that was far easier to type than it was to play out, for it took several darts filled with sedatives and many anxious moments to rein the fear-ridden sheep in. Struggling against the drugs that were racing through her scrawny body, Dart fought and fought to not go down.
However, eventually she did. And with our team moving in swiftly, the groggy Dart was, for the first time in her life, touched lovingly and gently and safely placed inside the Kindness Van.
Little did she know that whilst she cherished her life dearly, so too did those who now held her.
Arriving at the other end, Dart could, to our surprise, stand – and was ready for round two to seize her freedom. One can only imagine the confusion that became her in that new place she found herself, with its pleasant smells, kind words and not a hint of violence or death in the air.
And that freedom, she soon found, was nothing she had to fight for.
Proving sheep are sharp, smart and savvy – way beyond the myth of mindless automatons so many would have us believe – is our Dart. For now, several weeks into sanctuary and far from the frightened young and skinny lass who we met that fateful day, is a cheerful being who runs towards the humans she now sees as friends.
And she does so in the company of her now bestest buddies, Kansas, Sarsaparilla, Special and dear little Sydney. Seeing the happy quintet on these beautiful spring days, lush green pasture all around them with no care in the world, one cannot help but believe dreams are a wish your heart makes.
Blending tragedy with hope comes Nepal, a sweet little Merino lamb, born one of triplets, who sadly became separated from his family.
While logic tells us he did not fall from the sky, he might as well have, for from where he has come, we cannot ascertain. It is as if he is nobody’s cat. And here now, he most certainly is.
Few things in life tug more at the heartstrings than when you see the life draining out of the eyes of an animal. And when that animal is but a youngster, the tug becomes an all-consuming wrench.
Found wandering on a highway that homed no sheep, it is believed that dear Jump did just that.
They have been declared the comedians of the barnyard (goats, that is) and proving this statement is not a work of fiction come Frick, Frack and Applejack.
It was the message we prayed we would never have to send – well, not for many a year anyway – to our team.
As a young first-time mum, having barely hit puberty, Margaret found herself in the direst of situations. Recently having given birth, and suffering a life-threatening prolapse, she did not know what to do.
Meet Annie Yokely and Mary Poopins! A community Facebook post was to prove the lifeline for two plucky and adventurous hens. It, too, was to prove just how maligned, disregarded and poorly protected their kind is.