New Behaviors

Oh, the lessons I have learned from my animals.   Perhaps it's because I spend so much time just observing them, but it seems that every day they teach me something new.

One thing that is apparent is that there is a group mentality with animals, and they seem to take their cues from each other.  For example, sheep, when with other sheep, will behave like sheep.  Sheep, who live with overly-friendly pigs will behave a little more like pigs.  

This has become evident over the past several weeks, since our sweet white sheep, Hope, passed.

It took a few days, but Faith inserted herself right into the center of our pig family - and now spends all of her time in the company of Ginger and MaryAnn.

When Faith lived with Hope, both sheep were very shy.  Until this year, they rarely let anyone near them.  I could occasionally touch them, but those instances were brief and usually ended with both sheep running for the safety of their houses.

Since her adoption by the pigs, though, Faith has become much more friendly... even to the point of coming to me when I beckon to her.

Yesterday I was out in the pasture for a visit.  Right on cue, MaryAnn came to me and flopped down on her side.  And naturally, Moll cat came running from the barn.

Ginger also joined our little group, followed by Faith.  Faith walked right up to us and allowed me to scratch her behind the ears.

Then, she said hello to Moll cat...

 and sniffed MaryAnn, to make sure that she was ok.

When Moll jumped back up on MaryAnn's back,

 Faith walked over to observe this interaction with curiosity.

She then proceeded around the group and back to me for more attention.

It was a magical moment... pigs, cats, sheep, human.... enjoying each other's company with no anxiety or mistrust.  These are the moments that make each day so special - quiet moments filled with trust and affection.  

There's one thing that is certain: animals are honest.  They are capable of learning from our behavior - as we are capable of learning from theirs!  They quite often leave me awestruck.

And so... today we say goodbye to November.  Tomorrow December arrives, followed by Winter (although it sort of feels like Winter arrived a few weeks ago with snow!)  We have lots of holiday shenanigans to share with you over the coming weeks.


Anonymous said…
Dear Bev,
I have followed your blog for quite a few years now, really enjoying all of your farm tales. The past couple of years have been so poignant as you tell the stories of your aging animals. They really do pull at our heartstrings and teach us so much if we’ll observe as you have done.
The story of Jack helping the elderly turkey from his roost every morning was a favorite, but having grown up on a sheep ranch the ongoing story of Faith and her piggy neighbors has made me tear up-more than once.
Thank you so much for all your efforts. (I’m so happy that Faith seems to have found friendship and acceptance with Ginger and MaryAnn.) Animals truly are the best aren’t they!
Barbee' said…
That is amazing! Love it!
Also, you wrote: "those quiet, everyday moments that fill my heart… just the ebb and flow of every day life." Thank you for sharing exactly that. Reading your ebb and flow of everyday life has kept me sane and got me through the past few years of hardship here. Thank You!
Unknown said…
I love the ongoing story of how Faith is adapting to her new family. Makes my heart so happy and yes it is amazing what animals teach us. There is no doubt that animals make us better people.

Karen S.
Jody Watts said…
Absolutely perfect way to start my day! My animal family consists of 3 beloved cats who keep my life joyful and I thank God every day for them. Thanks for sharing!
Agent X, not said…
Animals do indeed teach us if we take the time to learn. Thank you for sharing life on the farm, and reminding us of what is truly important.
Melinda said…
Beautiful Post. Reminds me today as I go through out my day that others learn by example. I should strive to be a good example!!!!!
Jeannie said…
Isn't it just wonderful how Faith has found her way, and how the pigs have welcomed her into their daily life? Thank you for sharing this sweet story.
Oh what a lovely post from you today, Bev. I love that Faith is coming up to you and allowing you to scratch her and rub her ears, etc. What a change in
Faith. She is discovering a whole new world by not running and hiding in her little house. Miracles seem to happen on your farm. May they continue! Happy December!
littlemancat said…
This is a very moving post - how Faith has found her way with the help of her new sisters. It's wonderful, and thank you for sharing it with us.
Lynne said…
I love this post . . .
The change in Faith . . .
Amazing beautiful story Beverly!