MISS MOOX + wonderful

Update 3: Beebles Rehomed

The story of Beebles has a happy ending. Two Saturdays ago, along with her one remaining friend, Beebles was borne in quiet and completely incognizant triumph to her new home in Maine.

We loaded the two bewildered turkeys into the back of the truck for the nearly hour-long drive. The journey meandered through rural and small-town Maine, finally ending at a farm set deep into splendid pinewoods and over a foot of sparkling snow from the recent storm. Upon stepping out of the truck, we were greeted by a contingent of very plump pygmy goats (all of them pregnant, we later learned, except the rather belligerent-looking and aloof ram). We were also greeted by the farm's owner, a man called Stanley.

Stanley can best be summed up by calling him a certifiable character. Some time ago he had an accident involving falling on ice while walking one of his draft horses, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to work or drive. However, he was still well-capable of looking after his Noah-like menagerie. Small and spry, with a wealth of tangly beard, a scratchy voice, dirty coveralls over a plaid workshirt and a thermal undershirt, and a fantastic orange knitted cap, Stanley chain-smoked while he chattered to us about his animals. Well, rather chattered to Julie, as I was busy exploring the wonderful photographic possibilities of the farm.

Besides afore-mentioned goats, the farm's denizens included multiple chickens; a solitary duck; two very enormous Belgian draft horses and one black draft of indeterminable breed; two donkeys (one of which, Stanley proudly informed us, was 32 years old and looked as if it might die on the spot); one black cat; several rabbits in cages; and one very large and complacent sheep. Upon seeing the sheep, Julie gasped in disapproval; it was actually her sheep which she'd brought some time ago when she couldn't care for it any longer. It had grown enormously fat and she talked about it indignantly for days afterward.

The rehoming of Beebles went smoothly. Apart from the fact that Beebles' companion decided to assert her independence by escaping as she was transferred from the truck to her new pen. With little chance of capturing her again, the best to hope for was that she would continue to wander about the grounds of the farm and be induced to stay by the availability of food. Sighted turkeys are swift and strong.

Before we left, I went to see dear little Beebles for perhaps the last time. The contrast between her and her female friend was dramatic. Beebles remained in the little pen in one of the sheds where they had put her. The shock and uncertainty of the move and her new surroundings had left her even more still and tentative than usual. She sat in the middle of her straw peering at me uncertainly. When I came into the pen, she pushed herself up against the wall, the one slightly-sighted eye facing out. I held and stroked her, and she hardly protested. I took last pictures of Beebles and left her, secure in the knowledge that Stanley, who quite apparently loved his animals very much and cared for them to the best of his ability, would keep her well.

So the story has a happy ending. And the bit of me that feels compelled to protect the weak and defenceless is satisfied at a small, but definite victory.

I love to think of little Beebles, tucked away in her farm in Maine, surrounded by a jovial and widely-assorted collection of animal friends, and cared for by a benevolent farmer. I hope she lives a long and happy life.

Here are some photos from the farm:

The goats were extremely friendly—I'm not sure how much of that was due to their hope that we might be carrying food

The obese sheep

A lovely bit of rusted machinery sitting on the farm—they can go such wonderful colours

Stanley, the farmer

Stanley with his beloved goats

The star of the show, Beebles.

Stanley saying his goodbyes: "You come back again, now, and bring that little girl with you" (me)

For background, see: Beebles, Part 1

art, HAPPY, HOPE, inspiration, orange, time, and more:

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