Wednesday, July 14, 2010

heroism in animals

Some people think of animals as 'dumb brutes' without thought or obligation. My experiences seem to prove this is not true, and my sense of having so many animals come through my little house has proven it to me, if not to you. I never looked for it. I just loved animals since I was tiny, felt them to be my friends, my best friends really, the ones I'd tell everything to and who knew when I hurt. I have a kelpie who knows when I have panic attacks and leaps onto the bed, where i usually fall when such an event occurs and sits with me, often wraps his arms around me and calms me down. His breath becomes mine. I settle and relax, his care makes me feel foolish but no longer alone. And he is brave. The other evening I wheeled out two enormous avairies so the birds could enjoy the sunshine - we'd been having weeks of cold and rain. they sat and warmed their feathers, then enjoyed a light summer rain, stretching their wings and sqwaking protectively as sparrows and pigeons, ducks and our chickens came to enjoy the same. I covered them up with blankets and two tarps to keep them dry if it rained - and went to bed.
in the middle of hte night, Marshall, my Kelpie licked my face, padded at my arms, and finally stood over me. i had ear plugs in to block the interresting sounds my partner Stuart sometimes makes, and I love the incredible silence it provicdes, allowing me to lie and imagine scenes for my books as i drift into sleep. but this evening there was no chance of a quiet night, because as i pulled my ear plugs out, I could hear the rain hurtling against the tiny house, the thunder and lightening. And I ran outside.
Both avairies had tipped over and neither were attached to their bases. Birds could have easily escaped, or been crushed. I was in a pani but trying to stay calm because there was much to do - and prepare for. I ran back to get my spectacles and woke up Stuart and we both ran out into the rain and hail, expecting the worst, but it had only just happpened, the avairies were intact, no one had escaped, We stood them up and dragged them under cover, changed their blanket covers and checked each bird. The only injury was a budgie with a sore foot, who was fine the next day. marshall had saved their lives, these birds he harrassed sometimes in the sunshine, leapt up and occassionally barked at. He'd been determined to wake me up when I hadn't heard the danger - and I will never risk it again.
thank you Marshall

another act of bravery came from another, much smaler source and had a totally diffeerent result. When i adopted six handicapped finches, Barney would often fall into his water bowl, his wings were broken and I made a sort of ramp and cushion environemnt for him. I set his avairy next to my deska nd checked him constantly. Too often i had to rescue him, roll him over, put him back up top, take him out of water he'd drown in, but our contact made me love him all the more, because the more I did this, the less he'd fight it. he knew i was tryign to help him, i guess.
He showed such courage I guess, that he won the heart of the best girl in the place, and the beautiful white finch, Polly, became his girlfriend, occassionally rolling him over, feeding him, sitting with him, fighting off bullies and generally making his life so much more excellent than i ever could.
Then we moved house, and we had more room for birds in my study, so i kept three avairies in there (eventually featured on ABC Radio) some months later i bought some tiny reed woven nests for the finches, who had grown in number when people knew I'd take them in - i loved their song, industry, and sweetness. One morning I went to get Barney from his nest, and he'd died in the night. But still cuddled next to him was his forever girlfriend, Polly, the prettiest finch in the whole avairy, who had always stuck with him. Even in death she had stayed to keep him warm.
Listening to: meditation CDs
Eating: Jelly cakes
Thinking About: Love
Watching: Masterchef - which is the weirdest thing - I hate tv, cooking, sometimes even food. I've even been cooking...
Reading: 'Redbird' by Rick Bragg
Wearing: All my clothes at once - it's freezing...
Writing:My YA series and loving it.

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Anonymous Reece said...

I adore animals and this story/blog nearly brought me to tears, it was beautiful. Thank You.

7:59 pm, September 08, 2012  

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