Paddy Finds His Voice
Perhaps it was an overflow of good luck from St Patrick’s Day that caused dear Paddy’s otherwise bad luck to do an about-turn.
Alas, the same cannot be said for his two buddies. Spied in a regional park that sits on the outskirts of Melbourne’s busy western area were three hapless young roosters.
But it was only Paddy who was caught, although efforts are continuing to seek out and save his friends. And to us, Paddy’s rescuers and all who have come to know this handsome young bird, it is clear the friendly fellow has known kindness.
So just what went wrong? What caused the three young cockerels to be abandoned in a place they were ill-equipped to survive?
Whilst we do not know the exact circumstances, if one follows the money, or in this case leans on numerous past experiences, a sad picture becomes all too clear.
As artificially incubated eggs were pierced open from the inside by a wee egg-tooth wielding chick, wide-eyed youngsters joyfully watched on as new life emerged. Placed in warm, albeit clumsy, hands, the tiny babies found a place in the holder’s heart. With pleading cries, “Can I take them home, please, can I take them home?”
Few are the parents who are equipped physically, financially and emotionally for what then follows.
This is especially so if that cute and fluffy new life happens, as it does in around 50 percent of hatchlings, morph into a rooster.
And although the bonds between child and chick will only grow stronger with each tender and fun-filled moment together, the emerging crows of the three- to four-month-old roo-berty rooster will see the relationship with neighbours and others often do anything but.
So where to for these much-loved animals?
And what of the poor life lessons left on young and impressionable minds as deafening-silence-filled car rides see roosters abandoned in the oddest and often most inappropriate of places?
And of the roosters themselves?
Watching their special friends and family, the only one they have ever known, speed off into the distance. Perhaps the little fellows gallantly try and keep up until, weary and footsore, they cannot.
Perhaps they take a bit of a wander after standing momentarily confused, constantly returning to the spot of their last acquaintance, patiently awaiting their little human buddy to return.
But they never do.
Whilst numerous are the roosters who find sanctuary through such a happening, countless more sentient beings do not.
Yet despite being cautioned by such a sad history, chick-hatching programs continue, poor lessons are delivered, and animals are reduced to teaching aids, as pounds and sanctuaries struggle to accommodate the burgeoning number of once much-loved beings, and countless lives are lost.
As so it is that the Paddys of this world do not need a four-leafed clover to turn their luck around. All they need is for us to take our inspiration from this most endearing of birds, to find our voice and speak up for the least heard, the most vulnerable, and the most maligned amongst us.
When kindness counted her tally for the day last Saturday, no doubt she would have included the benevolent act that saved the life of the wee lamb we have named Adelaide.
Feeling the potency of a predator attack was the soft, moist tongue of the newborn lamb we have named Cincinnati.
Easily mistaken for a deer is our sweet friend whom we have named Happy Days. Her name, we whispered to her as a prophecy of the good things to come.
Finding Captain Nemo and his Pearl, and discovering an ocean of kindness.
Some days we wonder how we humans have arrived at where we are in our chequered relationship with animals. And then some days we realise that we can lament the past, accepting that we had no hand in that; our only hand lies in shaping the present.
The heart-warming story of a grieving mother who found a reason for living in her adopted son.
It was an image that will never leave our hearts. The one of the mother standing over her newborn child.
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Little did we know that Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ short stay with us was to be anything but. An aged dairy cow at the end of her useful life, and having prolapsed after her last calving, a lifeline had been thrown to dear Lucy.