The Princess Diaries

Edgars Mission - pig, Princess, rescue-3

Whilst I am not sure exactly when this diary started, I do know the first tear-stained page was etched in a commercial pig farm that should belong to a bygone era. But sadly, it and others like it do not. Here gentle sows like Princess never have a name, let alone a reason to live. Their existence is in a world allergic to compassion, kindness and even a straw bed. Their beautiful bodies and curious minds are reduced to mere productions units, producing 2.2 litters of piglets a year. Their pitiful lives are measured by output not opportunities. Yet somehow, between this servitude and her salvation, Princess and three of her buddies wound up in the middle of a state forest and herein turned a brave new page of the Princess Diaries.

Edgars Mission - pig, Princess, rescue

On 22 July 2018 the plight of a critically injured sow met with the path of kindness. There she lay, bloodied and bleeding, her exhausted and emaciated body barely finding the strength to heave out her next breath. In what would seem like her darkest of hours, Princess was to find her north star in the form of a kind-hearted four wheel drive enthusiast who happened to be in the wrong place at the right time. Desperate, confused and devoid of phone reception, the kind heart elected to wait it out until another car came along, hoping beyond hope it would be piloted by another equally kind heart. As Princess lay stoic and motionless, save the blood still spurting from her wound, she accepted her lot as a young piglet came into view and refused to leave her side.

While this scene played out, simultaneously only metres down the road, shielded by a tight corner and a hill, two other sows had similarly found their north star at the hands of kindness as they were ushered into a horse float to ferry them to Edgar’s Mission. Although photos were sent ahead of their arrival, nothing could prepare me for the sight, smell and sense of despair that came packaged up along with the girls and their mange, mites and ticks. But it was Princess who pulled greatest at my heart strings. As Manfred (of Five Freedoms Animal Rescue) opened the door to his vehicle, warning that the condition of the animal who lay inside was not good, unspoken words were to convey what our hearts did not want to concede. Slowly moving the makeshift bandage away, the blood began to spurt again, covering my face and crushing my heart. But where there is life there is hope, and in this most hopeless of situations I refused to allow this to be the last chapter in the life of the gentle sow I had now christened Princess.

Over the coming days, Princess and I were to be drawn together by regular bandage changes and health checks. And I began wonder just what would be revealed if she were to pen a diary describing her new world order. It’s funny how things have a way of working out: the chap coming upon Princess and her little buddy Gizmo, of Manfred and our team being only a stone’s throw away, of Manfred even finding the hapless quartet in the first place and of myself bestowing the most fitting name that I ever could for Princess before even truly knowing she was one.

Edgars Mission - pig, Princess, rescue-2

As the days have given way to weeks, Princess has indeed fallen into her role of Princess, with we her loyal servants and the barn her regal realm. Princess, quickly dictating the terms of the arrangement, told that I was NOT under any circumstance to have an assistant help with bandage changes (even though I very much needed one!) And how she did this was to jump up and “woof” madly as Kwok would kindly come to assist me in the tricky procedure that was really better suited to an octopus than a two-handed human dexterously trying to manoeuvre scissors, scalpel blade, disinfectant, wound cream, gauze, Gamgee, vet wrap, Elastoplast, towel and a plastic bag—all the while rubbing her ever-growing pink belly. And if her woofs failed to convey her message, Princess escalated them to a determined, no-nonsense bark that no pig shield could protect you from. So, it was to fall to me to strategically massage Princess’s tummy until she reached just the right Zen moment, then madly dash to treat her leg in the window of opportunity she had granted me. Along the way too, Princess has become a thief to my time, my heart and my camera, as her pleading and innocent eyes, which peek beneath those forward-flapping ears, draw me in each time I pass by her stall. Be it belly rub, poop pick-up, photo opportunity, water check or treats, Princess has me wrapped hook, line and sinker around her dainty little trotters.

Edgars Mission - pig, Princess, rescue-4

She surprises me each day with her gentle enthusiasm, cheerful nature and wide-eyed wonder as she views her new world. But above all else, it has been her capacity to trust the very species that had so wronged her and her kind that inspires me to be a better version of myself and to know my place is to serve, writing my own diary of kindness.

I truly believe that my experiences with Princess are something that comes with the territory of opening one’s heart and mind to the incredible possibility of what it means to be a pig. Reminding one that while we humans live in a world full of choices, animals like dear Princess live in a world where they are victims of ours and the kindnesses we can cast their way will pave the path, not for their redemption but ours. Oh, and what a diary entry that will be.

Edgars Mission - pig, Princess

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37 thoughts on “The Princess Diaries

  1. thank the stars for people like you who take the time to care and have so much love to give! Edgar’s Mission is my primary charity and, if I had more to give, I would. You people are wonderful. I truly wish all that is good in the world to come your way.

  2. Thank you again for all that you do, the stories you share, and the sacrifices you make to help all creatures great and small. I wish I had millions to donate. You are my inspiration.

  3. Gosh I love your organisation. What you do for your charges are great. Love pigs they look so happy now. Love the little one that found the hay stack, made me laugh between the tears. Is it any wonder I prefer the company of animal. Bless you.

  4. Oh Pam, you truly send such wonderful gifts of love to the world, as you tell us about all of the blessed animals that are so lucky to live in Edgar’s Mission.
    I truly thank you for sharing your loves and your life with all of us!
    Sincerely, Steffanie

  5. You icredibly, compassionate souls! Reading this my tears of sadness turned into tears of joy, I have the utmost respect for you and the beautiful magic you weave.

  6. This is why I want to win Tatts and give EM & the like a big bunch of money! Thank you to ALL involved with this amazing rescue, and of course all the others over the years (and future unfortunately!).
    Good to see Vet Nurse Ruby on the job too! Bless you and big tummy rubs to the piggies! xxxxx

  7. Unbelievable. Pam, you should be published. Your writing is impeccable and such a pleasure (mostly) to read. This story again brought tears to my eyes and sorrow for all the other beautiful animals that arent as lucky to fall into your kind and gentle hands.
    Bless you all at Edgars Mission and thank you.

  8. Time and again your stories make me cry, usually tears of happiness that you have saved another beautiful soul. Princess is in her castle now and she couldn’t have wished for a better place to be in. Thanks you Pam and all your wonderful staff at Edgar’s Mission <3

  9. I sometimes wonder how many tears I can shed for the plight of animals. I thank God (whatever that may be), for you Pam and for the wonderful work that is done by everyone at Edgar’s Mission. I don’t have a lot of money but when I donate to EM I know that my money is not wasted but goes to wonderful rescues like this epic one. I will watch this rescue over and over because it feels so good to see these animals in heaven living the lives they were meant to live. Blessings to you all.

  10. you are a gem Pam along with your beautiful attendants

    You could never come of ill harm to yourself as what you give out each day will always be returned in many forms , most of which are people like myself who adore you and your animal family

    Hold your head high young woman as you have true compassion and soul

  11. I love your posts-Each one inspires me to believe there are angels on this earth loving and caring for animals that are forgotten and mistreated by my human earthly companions! Just the happy faces of those members of your animal family give me the lift and faith and hope for a brighter future for all animals! I truly love you, your sanctuary and all of you who give so much of your heart and soul!

  12. All these beautiful messages say it better than I can- thank God there are people like you to help the weakest, most innocent, and defenceless among us. If I only lived near, I would love to volunteer

  13. This wonderful story on R U OK? day. Blessings abound. Every day you are having this conversation with Princess and she most certainly is having that conversation with you.
    I’m thankful for every detail and every person named and unnamed in this story.
    Before and After photos of just a couple of months apart are remarkable.
    Love is the greatest medicine.
    Love to all at Edgar’s today, tonight and always.

  14. Thank you for your wonderful work l am interested in bringing my g/kids to Edgars Mission during the coming holidays. l will then make a donation for the upkeep. l don,t know what times you have available in the second week of School holidays coming up. l live in Croydon, so will be a trek for me but want my g/kids to be aware how we must all help our animals. Penny Allen.

    • HEllo Penny, sorry only saw your comment now. Many thanks for your kind words. Please do check out visit us tab on our website for visiting details. Look forward to your visit, cheers and kind wishes P

  15. The whole episode of Princess,and,her friends reduced me to tears. Bouquets by the million to the 4 wheel drive enthusiast who was willing to wait,and,help. What a wonderful person. To Edgar’s Mission….I don’t have enough words of praise for you all. Super work Pam. Been there,done that,got the T shirt,so I understand full well just what you went through, initially, treating Princess. Well done yet again!

  16. Beautiful!!!! SOOO HAPPY !!! Thank you EM XXX

    It breaks my heart every day knowing so many Animals are suffering so terribly on farms throughout the world :( :( :(
    I first went to an intensive piggery when i was 18 & it changed the rest of my life! It was a nightmare i”ll never forget! I’ve been to many since then (won’t say what i was doing) but it was good :) can’t do it anymore unfortunately :(:(
    It helps me so much to see all the Love & Commitment from Angel Pam & all the great Animal Angels at Edgar’s,& Animal Angels all over the world doing everything they possibly can to help Animals in so many ways :) i know i’m not alone with how i feel for all Animals & this is the only thing that keeps me sane. Seeing all the good being done for Animals in such a cruel cruel world.

  17. Thanks so much for doing what you do, and inspiring others around the world to emulate you and make the world better for the billions of princesses that are suffering out there. I really hope the world will be vegan one day, and there wouldn’t be a need to label it as vegan

  18. I just so love all your stories and videos. In a world so full of unbelievable animals cruelty and abuse, I cannot tell you how much your stories life my spirits. So often the pain we feel when we hear and see this terrible cruelty to animals, is overwhelming and then your beautiful kindness comes through and helps me to realise that there are lots of wonderful people who are doing amazing work to change the lives of all animals. THANK YOU SO MUCH. Love from Heather xx

  19. I cry with every story that I read. Some are tears of sadness but most are tears of joy and hope. Thank you for sharing another beautifully touching story. Edgars Mission is amazing!!!! I hope someday I can cross the pond and visit this beautiful place!

  20. Pam you are an amazing Human, with Animal Cruelty rife it is so heartwarming to watch your Videos of your amazing rescues and the love and compassion you show these beautiful Creatures, thank you.

  21. I so love what you have done at EM & wish I was close enough to lend a hand to all the wonderful animals & to give you a hug to say thank you, I love the book The Gift of KINDNESS, I read it often, shedding tears for the beautiful creatures you write about, I have given this book to young & old & it is much loved. Thank you Pam you are a special soul.

  22. That poor girl,thank goodness there are compassionate people who don’t just walk away . Be heartwarming seeing her respond to kindness, luckily people know of Edgar’s Mission,so can be helped to take the poor souls to sanctuary.❤

  23. My goal in life is to run a rescue sanctuary along the lines of Edgar’s, but in Yorkshire (I have never felt at ‘home’ in Australia.
    Pam, you are one of my greatest heroes and although you may not know it, you are a bodhisattva- a Buddhist term for a compassionate, altruistic and loving person.
    Bless you always and thank you xxxx

  24. This is why I donate, to help these beautiful animals. They will only know love and compassion from now on, safe in the loving sanctuary that is Edgars Mission.

    Thank you

  25. Dear Pam,
    Thank you for creating Edgar’s Mission. It is obvious that it is sorely needed. If everyone had your compassion your sanctuary wouldn’t be necessary. However there are too many cruel people out there who are dead inside and have no compassion for animals. But equally there are many wonderful people such as yourself running organisations to rescue abused, neglected and exploited animals and I thank you all.

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