Living With Animals, Knowing Bones


I brushed Chloe and the donkeys.  Chloe wandered off when while I was cleaning Fanny’s hooves.  I followed her and combed her mane and tail while she grazed.

Then I sat on a rock in the pasture.  The sheep were grazing and Fate was pretending to herd them.  Chloe and Fanny was grazing and few feet away and I heard Minnie settle on the rock wall  behind me on the other side of the fence.

Instead of grazing, Lulu leaned against me.  She lowered her head so I was looking at her big brown eye.  We sat that way for a while, both of us still, and I listened.

I went to spend some time with the animals, because it was a beautiful day and because I was thinking about why we have the animals we do.  There are lot of good reasons not to have animals, but still there they are.  I’ve been wondering what the need is, where it comes from.

Lulu was still leaning against me when the words came to me…

We used to know each other.  We lived together, worked together, we took care of each other.  We knew everything about each other.  We knew what each others bones looked like.

The feeling was just beyond my reach, but the words rang true.  In my mind I saw a person standing in the desert gazing down at the bones of a donkey.  At the same time I saw a donkey standing over the bones of a human.

To know another beings bones, both literally and figuratively.  How is it possible not to miss that.  That kind of intimacy. That kind of knowing.

I don’t need to have donkeys, a pony and sheep, not in the same way we used to depend on these animals.   Yet when they’re not there I miss them in my life.  There’s an loss without them,  a longing  for this deep connection that comes from another time and is still a part of me.

I’m beginning to understand that for me, living with animals is actually more natural than not living with them.  So it’s not a question of why I have them, but how did we come to live in a world where animal are no longer an organic and accepted part of our lives.

10 thoughts on “Living With Animals, Knowing Bones

  1. Whoa Maria Wulf Love this! Reminds of the film I’ve seen when the elephants visit their graves and feel the bones of their relatives with their trunks. You have revealed the truth. I can feel it in my heart. Thank you.

  2. amen! I especially love and connect with your entry today

    just lost another cat and again, am surprised by how much I miss & long for all that was given to me by having a little animal in the house. . the emptiness just doesn’t feel ‘natural’. . Watching the birds at my feeder each day helps to fill me up . . .knowing all the plants in my yard which I’ve put in and tended– all these keep me close and connected to the earth. . .keep me grounded in a way nothing else does. . .I need that deep knowing and connection in my life . . bone to bone . .thanks for all

    1. Bone to bone, now those are good words Veronica. It is why we feed the birds and have our gardens too. Just as you say. I hope another cat enters your life soon, for both of you.

  3. Maria, when I said that the words would be yours, you have them. We were of one consciousness with Nature. Like in I Am The Tree. That is why your response to my blog was of memory and felt so accurate. Good work Maria,good work.

  4. This was beautifully written, Maria. There is something so essential about the interaction between humans and animals. Bone to bone is a good phrase for it as the bond goes that deep; it is a very visceral feeling and very natural and simple in all its complexity. We humans always look at things from our perspective but the animals have a perspective too and they actually like us humans and know who is good to them, who isn’t.

    Maria, to change the subject, what ever happened to that wee white kitten you found one open house that you decided not to keep. I would love to follow up on its story!

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