Meet my new love Otis, a very handsome and poorly boy.
I have come to a friend’s farm to care for her organic beef herd and her happy hens. Ages ago I promised her that I would come and flow care on her farm if she managed to organise a holiday for her family and her Mum. Success, as she organised it all and I headed away from my new home feeling rather fragile.
I have learned not to question life’s flow and I know there are many positives to come from the next week, but today there is something special to share.
We had a few hours together before they all headed off (which ‘us girls’ relished) and as we walked around and I absorbed it all, the conversation went something like this…..
Lovely friend: ‘Jane, I am really sorry to do this to you, but our bull Otis went lame yesterday. The vet’s been and his hoof is not infected, but he needs peace and a safe place to heal. So we have put him in the barn with a steer for company’.
Me: ‘Ohh, poor Otis…well, this is a first on the care front. I am guessing that we are talking hands-on care here?’
I was pale underneath my tanned face…..
Lovely friend: ‘Whatever you feel comfortable with, but he is feeling very sorry for himself.’
Me: ‘Poor boy, let’s go and see him.’
Otis and Zaphod, short for Zaphod Beeblebrox. When the herd reached number 42 a ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy theme developed and yes, there is an Arthur Dent. Anyway I digress, ‘the boys’, are happy in their barn together and as we walked up they watched us. Otis stood stock still as we went into the barn. My lovely friend explained that the water butt was ‘auto-filling’ from the mains and the manger was accessible from the outside, so I did not have to go in. I chose to go in though, as this magnificent boy is in pain. We moved calmly and my lovely friend went up to him, as I stood back, and stroked his head and talked to him. As she stepped back I took my time and went up to say ‘Hello’. I stroked his head and flank and talked to him. We topped up his hay and watched him walk. He is really limping and the pain is evident in his eyes. Poor boy. Zaphod is never far from his side.
We left ‘the boys’ and went to see how the main herd were doing in another field. They have all been moved to ensure Otis has peace and Zaphod does not pine too much. Then we came back so I could be introduced to all the quirks of the farmhouse and be greeted by the friendliest hens I have ever met. I am going to love tending to them and staying in this loving home. My lovely friend’s family are so at ease with each other and their love has soaked into the walls of their home, so it radiates back and you feel like you are ‘home’.
This evening I walked across to see how ‘the boys’ are doing. I talked to them and stocked up their manger with fresh hay to take them through the night. A little treat was called for and I put a scoop of nuts in the manger trough. Otis came right up and as he ate I stroked his head and talked to him. I was flowing healing into this beautiful boy as we stood there and each time he raised his head, I moved my hand to where a few nuts had got lost amoung the hay. He knew and dropped his head to eat them. Zaphod watched this bonding and very sensibly went to the other side of the manger to get his fair share.
I stroked, talked, healed and fell in love.
Standing there I knew, without a shadow of doubt, that I need to find farm work where I can care for animals every day.
I have found my true love.