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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Monday, February 07, 2022

Another very grumpy arrival to Apifera

Introducing…Francine. If you think she looks cross it’s because she is. 

She has been at the shelter since May due to her anti social behavior towards people. They tried many things to see if she would overcome her distaste to humans but to no avail. My contact wondered if a quieter life here would help or at least get her out of the shelter. She arrived today and is safe in a cubby cage and I doubt I will see her for a long time. She is okay with cats. 

I don’t think this will be a Walter story…but who knows. She’s had most of her teeth pulled. So we will let her be herself and maybe in time she might accept my touch.

It made me think of Rosie the pig...aka The World's Grumpiest pig But I'm Fine As I Am Pig. ROsie was living like a princess as a piglet in the home of an elder woman. She had her own room and bed and I'm not sure anyone really touched her. But the woman died and Rosie was eventually sent to a sanctuary. It was there she met Stevie the crippled goat-he was the only animal there that would tolerate her grumpiness. I happened to be wanting a pig back them, at the old Apifera out West. I called them and talked to them about Rosie, and told them I wasn't sure I was right for her since I'd never had a pig, but the more they talked to me the more they wanted me to adopt her. I also said I didn't need another goat as I had many elder goats I was caring for, but they said Stevie the goat had to go with Rosie.

And so we took them both and I am so glad we did. A remarkable story of acceptance and friendship-just the way you are kind of friends. Rosie was able to come to Maine with us. Since she was so grumpy and nobody tolerated ehr well [Stevie had died by then] we made her a special hut for the trip and she slept the entire way and was as content as can be. She lived another couple of years but grew old, and crippled. She was blind. The Goose befriended her and slept on her for warmth. I miss her.

But the point is, I could not change her and it taught me a lesson that my role is to create a safe place for an animal, and to observe, not force. Observe them over many days, weeks and months, and see what they need and want. Rosie wanted nothing, except a safe bed, some sun now and then and on good days, a belly rub.

So we will let Francine have her cubby, and she can come out in the dark and be a cat, and in the morning when the sun rises, she is free to return to her cubby. In time she might enjoy a window seat.