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.
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.