Answer: When they happen to be a “hen” who is actually a rooster. Confused? So too were we when we recently received a call from a concerned and kind-hearted member of the public who noticed a little black “hen” pecking about on their lawn recently. The plucky chicken, whilst appearing most at home, wasn’t. Because this green patch or earth was not “her” home, and many calls and door-knocking in the area revealed there was no home anywhere nearby missing one of their feathered friends. But what was nearby was a parkland area inhabited by urban foxes—not a good mix for a lone chicken. With the call for assistance coming in right on our own poultry lock-up time here at Edgar’s Mission, we simply could not abandon the animals in our care to rescue another, but we knew someone who could. With one final call to ensure the “hen” was still at the address, we heard these words, “Oh yes she is; she is happily perched on the window sill as she has been for the last couple of nights”. “Ah, ha,” we thought, “She’s a rooster”– which sadly explains why there was no home for her/him.
Have you ever wondered why some animals get lucky and others do not? It’s something we regularly toss about in our hearts and minds each day here at Edgar’s Mission. And the story of Kanga speaks poignantly of this.
There are few things in life that so remind us of the vulnerability of animals than those who arrive in our care in severe states of neglect. And few have arrived in a worse state than Muffy and her lamb, Duffy. That Muffy adored her baby was so evident—she had put every ounce of her being into her baby, even at the expense of her own health. Blood tests soon revealed that this courageous and loyal mother was not long for this world, as she was in the final stages of liver failure. And little Duffy … in all our years of rescue we have not seen a live lamb more emaciated than he.
“Where ever you go, whatever you do, make your kindness count”
And that is just what happened today as we headed to Melbourne in the company of one forthright and “don’t mess with me” chicken, Kung Fu Panda. Whilst the details of our important mission cannot be revealed until next week, we can tell you that our day was brightened by fellow commuters who showed their love and support of our work. From the tradesman who inched up to our vehicle as we were stuck in traffic, wound down his window and shouted, “I love your quote, I don’t eat animals”, to the lovely young lady who waved excitedly at us at the traffic lights and all salutations in between, we truly appreciate your support and take great comfort that you too are driving the world to a kinder place for all.
Actually, there are two tales about Tilly; the first is the human Tilly. We recently met the young Tilly when she toured Edgar’s Mission in the company of her proud mum and sister. The tour came not long after Tilly’s birthday, where, rather than receiving presents as most young girls do on their birthdays, the kind-hearted Tilly requested, instead, donations to her favourite animal charity: Edgar’s Mission. She brought the donations to our team on the day of her tour.
And so to the tale of the second Tilly. As the universe would have it, on this very day, a little lamb in desperate need of a hand and kindness came into our care. We could think of no better name for such a sweet being than “Tilly”—they are both linked by kindness, one as the deliverer of kindness and one the recipient.
The word “understand” is a verb, and according to my grade five English teacher that means it is a “doing” word. It is best described as “to perceive the intended meaning of (words, a language, or a speaker)”, to “interpret or view (something) in a particular way”.
To have, at the very least, some understanding of the world around us is fundamental to our being. Understanding gives us something solid on which we can lean; a means of acceptance and guidance in a life; and a way to navigate through the river full of possibilities, turbulence, beauty, serenity, indifference, birth and death the world has to offer.
The first time I saw Muffy and her baby lamb Duffy, I understood three things. The first was that the pitiful state into which both of them had been cast did not bode well for them; the second was the incredible bond between the two; and the third was that what I chose to do next would determine their future. With my second understanding firmly in my heart, I chose to do my darnedest to save them, although I knew my ability to do so would be significantly impacted by my understanding of the first. Continue reading