Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

Apifera Farm is a registered 501 [c][3]. #EIN# 82-2236486

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©Katherine Dunn.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

You never forget a donkey

One of the more touching encounters I had at last Sunday's final Pino Pie Day was meeting a couple who came specifically to be with the donkeys. They explained they once had three donkeys but had to rehome them when they had to leave their small farm due to life's twists and turns. The man pulled out a small worn photo to show me and he proudly explained how the fellow in the middle was the son of the donkey on the right and was born at their farm.

"He doesn't have a photo of me in there," said his wife with a smile, "just the donkeys."

They were both clearly moved to be here, and expressed such sincere gratitude at having the opportunity to share time again with donkeys. They had not gone back to see their donkeys after they rehomed them–I sensed that was a wound. I can understand. To go back and see them would be very painful, even if they were cared for well. To leave them again would open a trauma again.

My worst nightmare would be to have to suddenly leave the farm and to have to rehome the animals. It is always traumatic for me to send a sheep off to a new breeding farm, I always feel better when I know they are out of the trailer and amongst their new flock,

"I guess this is a safe place," I can feel them thinking.

As we grow older, the reality of life is closer to our eyes than ever. We say we might die here at Apifera, but maybe we won't. Maybe circumstances will present themselves and we will have to bravely go. I would feel a horrible betrayal to my animals if I had to do that, I doubt I'd get over it. It would mark me. It is the same reason I never send an elder off to the auction-I can't imagine it.

I think one reason the elderly are so lonely in many places is because for most people it is scary to look in the eyes of the elders sitting in little rooms with their belongings stripped down to the bare minimum. We all know there are good endings and not so good ones. Sometimes, usually, it is out of our control.

I just hope I can honor my animals until the end, and that if I am upheaveled in life, there will be silent guides helping me to find the right places for my creatures...and me.