Nothing to Hide
Pure and honest with her emotions is sweet Hydie.
This wee lamb, orphaned by the circumstance of her dear mumma’s passing, came into our care wrapped in a blanket and this grief. And in the days that followed, we were able to peel back both, revealing a dash of timidity in there along with a good measure of willingness to trust.
And we almost had her complete.
The gaps were slowly filled in, the more quality time we spent with this gentle soul, for indeed she had nothing to hide. No hidden agenda, no axe to grind, no score to settle. As she nibbled gently on our fingers, we felt the tingles of this in our heart. For there is something so pure and most humbling when an animal moves gently towards you as if to say, “I’d like to get to know you”. This is especially so when you take the form of a being so much bigger and stronger than they.
The Chinese chose knowingly well when they declared that kindness and generosity are the qualities that mark those born under the sign of the sheep in their zodiac.
And although the authenticity, candour and true beauty of these animals is laid bare for all to see, and has done so throughout the ages, that many a nation has been forged off their backs (and loins and other parts of their bodies) says that it is perhaps we humans who have something to hide. And, alas, still do.
Our chequered relationship with animals, that is.
A relationship where we indeed have so much to hide. Not the least of which is our blinkered attitude towards animals. On the one hand we argue against cruelty towards animals, even enshrining this in legislation. Yet carefully tucked away from public view and conscience are Codes of Practice that make legal the acts perpetrated on farmed animals that would be illegal and declared blatantly cruel if that very animal took the form of a “domestic pet”.
It is a way of thinking that today lands so many of our kind loving both lambs and lambchops at the same time. Yet the only thing that can erode this cognitive dissonance is something that does not lie with better, more just, laws – although that would certainly help. The best chance these animals have for fair and decent lives will only come about when we each live our life with justice, compassion and non-violence at its heart.
For only then can we say that we too have nothing to hide.
Little did we know, on the first night we met Soldier, that the inky darkness of the sky above was to be foreboding of her fate. She, patiently waiting roadside with the humans who had come to her rescue after the vehicle collision that had rendered her immobile.
With his glistening red comb flopped outrageously over his eyes and his body ensconced by the most silky soft of feather boas, made of the real deal, Earl’s haute couture may not look out of step on the catwalk of Fashion Week or even the cover of Vogue.
Whilst it is hard to define, it is easy to feel, just what makes Special special. For it takes but a moment with this happy-go-lucky little chap to intuit this.
With no need for a Coco Chanel creation or Gucci accessory, our Paris and Nicky Hilton are glamourous girls.
Having difficultly seeing his new world around him, at first Peaky Blinders would scoot away at the mere hint of our presence. But now not so.
Within metres of the road the tiny bird fluttered and flipped. At first thought to be a grey pigeon clipped by a fast-moving car.
As farmed animals, in the scheme of things, it never ends well for them. And every action thus far afforded this mother and child had fuelled their point of view.
There is little doubt Brunswick is a beautiful bird. His magnificent plumage captures the eye, whilst the brilliant radiance of his comb and wattles sets the heart a-flutter.
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.