Into the Abyss
Into the abyss of the tunnel that formed part of a decommissioned sewerage drain our team went. Head torches and hearts leading the way. Our quarry: two abandoned little goats whose plight had recently hit our ears.
They were spied some five weeks earlier by a kind-hearted dog walker along the Federation Trail. This trail ran adjacent to the open sewer network that sank several metres below the earth and it was here the little goats were trapped.
Trapped not only by steep walls but a lack of response from the authorities whose help had been sought.
As our team were swallowed further and further into the bowels of the tunnel into which the goats had fled, they hung great hope on the words, “It’s sealed at the other end”. For this, they planned, would provide the corral needed to rein in the “Bonnie and Clyde” like pair.
Rounding yet another turn they went, navigating areas the goats would have otherwise never ventured, for even natural light did not visit there. Breaths too were held for the eeriness of the darkness into which they had descended. Whilst unfamiliar smells wafted all round, so too did the silence, save the “plop plop” of the team’s footfalls in the murky wet sludge they were soldiering through.
Then someone gave a little shout, “Quick, help me, I’ve got one”.
Alas, this was never going to be an easy rescue, given the conditions under which we were working and the smarts and agility of the frightened young goats. Yet it was one we pledged would be as kind, swift and gentle as we could make it.
And as the apprehended kid’s buddy quickly fled yonder, consumed by the darkness into which they had run, our hearts sank.
But before one could utter, “You’ve goat to kidding” they did an about-face and burst back into vision and so too through the hands of all but one of their would-be rescuers. Racing on, head down and bottom up, they were on a mission to find their captured buddy. For such was their loyalty.
And what happened next will go down in history as the best one-handed goat leg catches of all time!
With the words, “Got them” reverberating down the tunnel and into the ears of the awaiting throng, cheers went up all round.
With muddied boots and hands, and a broken watch or two, our rescuers emerged, the two bewildered waifs cradled lovingly in tender arms. And it was as if the kids felt this too, for not a peep or struggle did they offer then, or as they were gently hoisted up a ladder and into the back of the awaiting straw-lined Kindness Van.
With their gentle sigh of relief matching our own, perhaps, we mused they instinctively knew their new way of being had just begun, and that into the abyss of great uncertainty and forgotteness that was once their lives had just been filled with kindness.
Footnote to this story: Our two sweet new friends take their names from those who refused to give up on them, Dean and Gerard. However, on close inspection this did require a degree of creativity, with their names becoming Deana and Gerard.
Around 4.40 pm on the 11th of January 2023, hope met the reality of our promise, as the last Silkie rooster was removed from the tiny wire prison that had been his home for heaven knows how long.
Just over a week on from that fateful day when the plight of hundreds upon hundreds of sweet Silkie chickens came under our radar. And so too our kindness.
With his eclectic mix of colour and an outrageous little “do,” dear Elton John stands before us today.
Camouflage – synonyms: disguise, hide, conceal, keep hidden, mask, screen, veil, cloak, cover, cover up, obscure, shroud.
There’s a Starman in our little brood of rescued Silkie roosters. And although we know he’d like to come and meet us, his little side-steps tell us perhaps that time is not just yet.