Dear Abby, and penning a kinder world
Dearest Abby, as you fled that abattoir, propelled by fear and the smell of death that always hangs heavy in such places, adrenaline flooding your system, and a wide-open gaze becoming your eyes, you raced.
The race that was to become one for your cherished life. Racing bewildered as you did through the unfamiliar streets of the concrete jungle you found yourself in, pausing when you could, looking desperately for the slightest hint of kindness. But there was none to be had.
Not just yet anyway. With your body heaving, and your tongue swelling as your mouth panted, tachycardia overtook that most vital organ of yours. Little did you know your escape was about to earn you the grandest prize. Although it was a prize a being such as you should never have to chase. Yet your efforts were to win it for you none the less – your life.
Your one and precious life.
And too for you, your courageous endeavours, that we can so readily identify with, were to take with you the hearts of all who have learned of your plight. You are indeed an amazing being. A plight that has landed you in sanctuary, the richest reward any sheep could ever find. And whilst the psychological trauma you have endured is beyond anything any animal ever should, it is one we know you will surmount.
For the resilience of your kind is legendary.
However, when we say that sheep such as you are resilient, please do not for one second think that this diminishes all that you have been through. For it would be wrong of us to hang your recovery on this fact and not recognise your trauma, just like our own needs understanding. An understanding that we humans are only just coming to terms with, for we know the deepest wounds are the ones that are rarely ever seen.
When many people think of psychological trauma, we generally only think of the human experience; however, many would be surprised to learn that animals experience trauma too. In fact, much knowledge of human-related psychological trauma has been gleaned from the animal experience. Alas, often cruelly so – cue the horrific work of the notorious vivisector Dr Harry Harlow.
Yet with brains that show similar neuroplasticity to those of humans, traumatised animals have been witnessed to learn, unlearn and relearn. And when this has come aided by human kindness and understanding, it has progressed so at incredible speed, but always at a pace dictated by the animal.
Over and over, we witness first-hand the consequences of psychological trauma on domesticated and farmed animals who have escaped the system. Animals like dear Abby, a sweet little cross-bred sheep of around eight years of age who started out her life in a vast open plain, a loving mumma to guide and nurture her. And then we humans began airbrushing their lives, reducing them to commodities, and the mere sum of the “useful to human” parts.
Bought and sold, moved about with scant regard for friendships, families and health are they. Yet the most trusted advice we can ever give is this. Whilst we can never remove what has happened to the dear Abbies of this world, we can sculpt a kinder one for them. Best done by simply allowing them to be who they are, not imposing upon them what we want them to become. And when we do, that most certainly will be something to write home about…
Edgar’s Mission sincerely thanks our good friends at Honey’s Pledge for opening their hearts and barn doors to sweet Dear Abby, who shall shortly be heading their way. Please like and support their page where you can continue to watch Dear Abby’s journey.
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.