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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Thursday, October 03, 2019

If you open a space, they will come to you, they will shift

Captain Sparkle leans into my guest
I wanted to write about this before I get swept up in the next days of the annual event [on Saturday]. Some beautiful encounters took place in the last couple days. I can say this is a daily thing here, but sometimes even I am reminded of the intuitive skills of nature and animals [and humans if we can recognize it and practice it].

Yesterday friends came to visit for the morning all the way from Oregon. It was so great to take time with them, since they knew Apifera out west from the onset, and actually delivered several Misfits to me to help out, including goats and dear sweet Hughie. But what was even more special for me was to see how some of the animals responded to the visit. I was surprised but also delighted that of all the current animals, I never thought Captain Sparkle would show such camaraderie with a guest. I've only had him out with strangers once as you know, and he did fine, but was a bit sidetracked since we were in a strange place. So when we stepped into his paddock where he lives with Arlo and The Teapot, we we all so happy to see that he almost immediately went up to my friend Lisa and leaned into her. He was so quiet and calm, and even started napping. He stood there the entire time. I felt a real shift in him in the last week or so. I think he definitely understands now that he is safe, and that I am the leader and protector against the boss pants, aka The Teapot. Captain Sparkle just swept me away on this visit, and I knew that in time, this little chap will evolve his purpose here, and get great reciprocal healing from it.

There was also an exciting–for me–shift with Harry. We went into the new barn addition to hang out with the donkeys and Harry, and we probably stood there for a half hour or more chatting. Within time, Harry started coming over to me. Harry is not scared or mean, he is still just ungrounded here, but he has begun to recognize my role here. My friend noticed he was paying close attention to me [wow, someone really listens to me].

It dawned on me that the way to put this into words...is that when we give the animals space, they can feel comfortable making their own intuitive response. If you back a horse into a corner and he doesn't trust you, it's dangerous and scary for the horse; if you give that horse space to understand the situation, he responds more calmly. 

I realized that having some people there that I was focused on, allowed Harry to feel more open to exploring...me.

It was a shift.

And then this morning a heart in throat encounter. Many of you who follow along know the beautiful story of friendship between The Goose and Birdie the llama. He was with her through it all. And you know that The Goose seems to gravitate to those in need. I do not take his skill lightly. We all know that Else is very old and crippled and fading...but this morning when I came back from the outer barn, she had brought herself outside to sun, without my help. I squatted down to take a photo as Opie stood near her. And in seconds, The Goose came over to make sure things were as they should be. He preened her some, but not a lot, circled her, and they tilted their heads together for seconds.

The Goose checks on old Else

My friend Lisa gets a surprise visit from Harry