Way Down in Kokomo
Little Kokomo may have been down on his luck the day he was born, finding himself way down in a pile of mirky mud. But it was only for a short time that the teeny, tiniest of triplets lay before kindness, in the form of two gentle hands, plucked him from this doomed fate.
Arriving hours later into our care, his umbilical cord still wet with his “newness” into this world, we held the gravest of fears for his life. With colostrum thawed and ready to go, it was not long before this salty goodness was flowing through his hungry system. One thing little Kokomo quickly revealed to us was that we should not be fooled by his diminutive size, for it was the only thing small about him. Ravenous was his appetite, both for his formula and our love. Drinking both up as only he could and putting a new-found fire in his belly.
And too our hearts.
Clasping such vulnerable beings in the palms of our hands causes something inside us to swell as we feel their tiny hearts beating for the very same reasons ours do. And then, as they look searchingly into our eyes, we are struck by how they respond to love and tender kindness in much the same way human babies do.
Bringing us back to the moment is the tragic reason so many lambs such as Kokomo are in need of sanctuary. Falling off the radar of many and slipping through gaping holes in our animal protection legislation, every year countless lambs perish: their loving mothers either dead or unable to care for them due to their own ill-health.
All of which prompts an urgent need for more public and open conversations about how we, in the 21st century, have arrived at this point. For too long the notions, “They are only farm animals,” “This is the way it has always been” and “Don’t be sentimental” have led a busy life, placating further moral enquiries in otherwise compassionate hearts.
Because at the end of a long and thoughtful day, we know that what dwells within us all is the very same thing that dwells deep down in Kokomo and his kind – the will to live a life truly worth living.
And what compelling ethical reason can we find to not let them do so?
After a night so long it almost forgot to end, we caught some sleep, grabbed a snack and headed on our well-worn track to the barn.
There was no doubt that Berlin’s world was crumbling the day he and his three buddies were surrendered into our care.
With a haunting sadness in their eyes, Gracelyn and Elvira entered our world. And we theirs, as they searched their newfound digs for somewhere to land their gaze.
Lost in a world far, far bigger than himself was little Bahama. But then kindness found him.
Words could not convey our shock when we went to our carpark to collect the little lamb we would soon name Bermuda, who was surrendered into our care after having been found the day before.
More than likely destined for backyard slaughter, the young Cedric ran for his life. And did so for several days in the off-leash dog park to which he had retreated.
Friend or freezer? Without even meeting the colourful chap we have named Tom Cruise, we knew the only role he should ever fill was the first.
At just one day old, teeny tiny Trapper John was diminutive in size yet formidable in impact, and everybody was talking about him.
Although lovingly tucked snugly into her bed, it was unfamiliar, and as that flick of a switch claimed the day, the little kid shifted uneasily.