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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Marcella...three years I would not change for anything

Marcella turns three today. I have said it before, she is the most challenging creature I have ever worked with, but the operative word there is "work". She has taught me more than I have taught her, I am sure of that.

She and I have worked on boundaries, commitment, accessibility to our true cores and consistency–the latter is something all creatures crave, I find.

Marcella was my first outdoor dog, she arrived as a pup and immediately slept in the barn. We did not get her when we first arrived at the old Oregon farm, and that is a good thing. We waited some time to bring a guard dog on, because I didn't think I was ready. Even after she arrived, I had my own issues with 'letting go' of worry for her safety. I held her back in ways. She still had a job and did it well, but I did hold her back a bit, in fear I'd lose her. I lost animals at the old farm regularly since it was part of the deal in taking on elder creatures, many of them on their last months, so keeping Marcella safe was something I clutched. I guess I still do.

Her territory to be guarded is more compact here. Benedetto is in charge of the sheep, Marcella is in charge of the pigs and smaller Misfits. She mainly protects them from sneaky, invading squirrels and rats that sneak into their area, undercover agents looking for dropped grain. But she takes her job just as seriously, and when the coyotes bark in the woods, Benedetto takes up the lead position, but Marcella reciprocates to form a unified front.

She was a comical little pup, and of course if you follow along here you know the charm of her relationship with the then piglet, Earnest, and to this day they reside together. Their fondness for one another is apparent, but she has become the alpha and I suppose you could say that Earnest has learned something other smart males do...if the woman is happy, the house is happy.

I never tire of looking at her photos. I never tire of taking them. She is Grace Kelly, she is Joan of Arc, she is Head Mistress and sometimes she is just a girl looking to smell the warm dust as she naps...she is the most magnificent, always beautiful, never to be replaced...Marcella.

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