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.