Knowing Rammie Baa Baa
Our physical journey with the bottled-reared ram we named Rammie Baa Baa began just 72 hours ago. And already it has told us so much about him. And us.
He is blind, we learned, as a result of a difficult birth, which was to claim the life of his dear mumma. And as we soon alarmingly saw, this was not the only adversity to touch him. Our first hint of this came as we drove the last ten kilometres or so of bitumenless dusty tracks to gates where beyond sat the home of Rammie Baa Baa and his human. We passed barren and treeless paddock after barren and treeless paddock, the native animals of the area long gone to make way for animals whose hard hooves bore little resemblance to the soft-footed ones nature intended to live here.
Displaced as these natives were to make room for animals who would be turned into commodities and as such thrown little kindnesses, it came as no surprise that compassionate assistance for Rammie Baa Baa when he needed it most was to prove as elusive as the rain to soothe the parched and dry earth on which he stood.
And whilst we have been able to wash away the dust and grit from our faces, nothing will wash away our first memory of dear Rammie Baa Baa and the human who had come to love him.
At first we thought a small boulder sat just shy of where the dear fellow lay, but a step closer and with our eyes widened, it was quickly revealed this huge mass was his greatly expanded – to mind-boggling dimensions – testicle sac.
“I’m a little cautious of him, but I love him dearly” came the words that drew us from our stupor. A stupor that consumed us on witnessing the sight of ram’s grossly swollen appendage. Yet the dear fellow readily obliged and walked into the trailer, dragging the huge mass behind him, when urged to do so.
With Rammie Baa Baa’s plight now visually clear, and learning of that of his dear human, we knew as we placed our foot on the car’s accelerator for the long journey home that we had just given hope to not one precious soul in need, but two.
We cannot lie when we say we were more than cautious taking on such a big and strapping bottle-reared lad. For it is more than legend they can be the most dangerous animal on a farm. And a blind one even more so.
But we did not know Rammie Baa Baa then.
However, soon we would.
While one look at Rammie Baa Baa and his wise yet opaque eyes told us we were in the presence of great wisdom, one parting of his heavily overgrown fleece told us that many grass seeds had made good their menace, burrowing deep their barbs into his flesh, causing him great discomfort at best.
And so, summoning a set of clippers and our courage, we set to work to rid the hapless animal of these. Yet to best do this we had to place ourselves in a position of great vulnerability and at his tender mercy, lest we feel the full force of his 146-kilo might.
It most certainly was not a task for the faint hearted.
Rammie Baa Baa calmly stood – for over an hour at least, his huge head resting delicately in our hands, as noisy clippers blared and tender fingers probed.
His freshly shorn skin was then pock-marked by a sea of tiny red dots – the last remnants of those wretched pointy seed heads.
With bed and sleep beckoning, we bid Rammie Baa Baa good night in his bed of golden straw. One last touch of his head to tell him he was a “good boy” revealed yet more grass seeds. Thousands of the darn things, heavily embedded in the slits that sit south of his eyes.
More correctly known as preorbital pouches, it was clear they had become home to more than his sebaceous and sweat glands. With the utmost of tender care, the sides of the pouch were pressed apart as the seeds spewed out, akin to the wrath of wriggling maggots evicted from their lair.
One could only imagine his suffering.
And so too his sense of relief.
With the last of the seeds finally removed, and dear Rammie Baa Baa again remaining calm throughout, it was more than clear he knew we were helping him.
Such a “knowing” of animals reminds us to always take the time to be still in their presence, not only in action but in thought too. To tap into our ancestral wisdom that once gave us the ability to move beyond looking at animals, to transcend into really “seeing” them.
For in doing so, we see our true self. Our true self as the healers and the helpers we all have the potential to be. To heal more than the physical ills that manifest around us, but to heal those less seen, but no less felt – the emotional and spiritual.
For Rammie Baa Baa, in his trusting and knowing nature, readily understood we came in peace to help and not harm him. And it is now our greatest hope that in the coming week we can complete that mission and secure him the true comfort and good health he so richly deserves.
Rammie Baa Baa, whose name evokes a mystic wisdom, although not able to see, shows us so much.
Not the least is that what makes us happy, what feeds our souls, is the very same thing that does animals: kindness.
Knowing this will make the world of difference not only to animals but ourselves as well.
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.
Little Kokomo may have been down on his luck the day he was born, finding himself way down in a pile of mirky mud.
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.