The Benefit of the Doubt…
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.
Wink eyes us cautiously; her bub, Blink, clinging Velcro-like to her side, does just that. And perhaps in doing so, he trusts that when those sweet little eyelids of his part, we’ll be gone. We are not. Our kindness and our upturned hand still passively on offer.
As both Wink and Blink share the common hesitancy of approaching our species, they hold their ground. And their breath, as they consider their next move.
And who can blame them?
As farmed animals, in the scheme of things, it never ends well for them. And every action thus far afforded this mother and child, has fuelled their point of view.
Then Wink, shadowed by Blink, show the value they hold over their bodily integrity as they defiantly stamp their hoof. Heads raised as they continue to eye us warily.
And perhaps they do. For already the first waft of this has been sent their way.
We do not move. Eyes remain soft, faces kind.
And then they give us the benefit of the doubt as they take a step forward.
Rewarding both their courage and their confidence, we still do not make a move. Save the radiance of our joyfully beating hearts.
With Wink and Blink’s welcoming ceremony to sanctuary well underway, we give pause to reflect on the intuitive nature of sheep. Their survival, just as ours, rests on their ability to recognise friendly faces and kindly hearts.
Gravitating towards both. If in doubt, think of your own past experiences.
Encouraged by unjust and discriminatory animal protection legislation, many draw a line in the sand and their compassion that restricts sheep and all farmed animals from being seen as the emotional and sentient beings they are.
Given the growing body of scientific evidence demonstrating this, along with the knowledge that we have similar physiological and neuroanatomical structures, perhaps it is time these hapless animals too, are given the benefit of the doubt.
For erring on the side of caution may just be the kindest and most merciful thing you will ever do.
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.
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.
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.