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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Beginning of a Dream

For a year now I have had this dream, this little Donkey Dream, to combine my skills as an artist, with my love for animals into...something.

While Donkey Dreams is inspired by Pino Blangiforti the little donkey, it was initially sparked years ago when I began taking my little pug on weekly visits to an elderly woman in a care facility. She had had a pug in her young married days - and that was why she had taken such a shine to us. Her room looked out at the top of a tree, but nothing else. She would hold that pug in her lap on our visits, and she would tell me stories of her little farm she lived on, her three children, her husband who long ago died. We talked about her garden, and her animals. Her family was small and scattered across the country. All three of us got a lot out of those meetings - old woman of 95, woman of 45, and a little pug of 8. On our last visit with her, there was just a quiet sense in that room, not sad, just a knowing sense - and I'm telling you, that little pug felt it. Usually a bit squirmy and wiggly, he sat so still that day, while she held his paw. The next week, as we entered her room, we found an empty bed. She had died the nite before, pictures on her bedstand of her holding my pug.

Twenty minutes to get there, 40 or so minutes to chat, twenty minutes to get home. That was how much time it took to make an impact on her life, as well as my own.

So, years later, I move to a farm. Suddenly, I not only have a pug with therapy skills, I am surrounded by healing beings in the form of horse, goats, sheep, lambs, dogs, cats, birds and...donkeys.

And I am an artist. Litebulb moment.


Abby Creek Art said...

This really brought tears to my eyes, Katherine. What a beautiful story.

Zieta Mathews said...

Even though the beauty of this dear little creature and of what He/She represents brings a tear to my eyes, those tears are ones of joy to know such an effort is being made. I KNOW the thing that will make me the most calm, the most accepting, the HAPPIEST when I am REALLY old us a dear animal sitting on my lap. They comprehend human feelings and fears so much better than do "animals" of our own kind! Contratulations to Master Pino and his loving owners AND THANK YOU!

Alisa said...

I have a pug, a therapy pug, he's 14 1/2. My husband calls him the Sherman Tank, he just keeps on going. We also have a small boston terrier that we swear looks a bit like a donkey. I also love to bake pies. Never have given one to anyone though and I love the idea. So off I go...

coloredsock said...

you rock, katherine. what a cool idea but of course it is coming from such a kind soul as you. i know just who i'm going to make a pie for...thanks for the inspiration. xojenny

Lynne said...

Wow... what a great story. My three dogs and I do therapy visits at the local senior citizen's home (which is just at the end of our block)... and you are so right -- it means so much to them. Sometimes I skip a day because I'm busy or tired or whatever... but your beautiful story reminds me of how important the small kindnesses can be in a life. Thanks for that... great, great reminder.

Amy Evans Streeter said...

Such a wonderful blog! A donkey! Pie! You don't know what this means to me. And, of course, the wonderful things you are doing with each. I found you via Linda over @ Abby Creek Art. Serendipity! To further explain:



I look forward to visiting often. And actually, would you mind if I blogged about your blog today?

Cheers from Mississippi.


Apifera Farm said...

Dear Readers and Pie enthusiasts,

I'm dictating this to HER - hooves are tiny, but just big enough to damage keyboard, SHE says. Thank you for writing me - and for telling me your stories. I liked it when zieta person called me Master...But I am no t the master, Paco is, I live in the field with him, he is boss, but I love him. I love everyone in the fields. I can make pie soon, when SHE helps me with the rolling pin. She makes me use a rolling pin - why I ask HER when I have my hooves ? She says it is proper to make a pie with a rolling pin. Now I go out - so excuse me. SHE says she will help get everyone baking this week with a simple crust recipe - I eat any crust, but SHE does butter ones. Butter is good, the wrappers are too. I love you all. Your Friend and Pie Donkey, Pino.

Amy Evans Streeter said...

yes, butter wrappers are, indeed, good. very good. xoxox!!

Donna M. Condida said...

[Just found your blog] - Fantastic idea....and your story brought tears to my eyes.

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~