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A Refuge of Peace

Wundowie — 2000-02-03

After another move to a small farm amidst the hills of Perth, we have finally come to a refuge of peace.Melinda and Phill are extremely nice hosts and, What’s best, they don’t drink. Their two sons, Jerime and Philipp, are regular rascals romping about the farm with their bikes all day, climbing the fig trees and playing with the countless animals that live here. Not only for us has the farm been a refuge, but also for numerous animals that were abused, tortured or simply abandoned by their owners. Among them, there are four kangaroos by the name of Girl and Josy, and the joeys Sam and Tippy. They live in an open-air enclosure only about 10 metres away from our caravan.

Our little Shiron who meanwhile weighs over 6 kilograms now finally has his important daily run. Only the nights he still spends in Tanja’s sleeping bag. Right next to the kangaroo enclosure, there is another fenced-in space holding a large number of chickens that provide a good supply of fresh eggs every day. They share their space with turkeys, guinea peacocks and other poultry with unfamiliar names.

Two cats live in spacious, spick-and-span cages. The three cockatoos sometimes try to outdo each other at screeching. Especially Klaus is well versed in language. He imitates Melinda’s voice to such perfection that makes you believe she’s always there. Even when she’s not at home you could be sure she’s talking to one of the four dogs named Duchess, Moss, Sally and Simba, the watchdog. They race around the house sometimes like a bunch of rascals and stir up a lot of dust. Rufus never was in such good company. There are four ferrets in the garden, Fredy, Foxy, Mindy and Snow, the chicken killer, who lead the life of Riley in the shade of a pine tree.

The huge terrain behind our caravan was inhabited, up until recently, with four horses named Squirt, Micki, Molly and Shah, the latter being the king of the place. It was only yesterday that he kicked poor 24-year-old Squirt to death. Although we fought for her life for eight hours, she died in the end nevertheless. Our five camels are now living side by side with the horses. It took some days until our scary desert animals got accustomed to their neighbours. Also Jerry Red the cow observes the new guests through the fence every day and moos her comments.

When Fran, the goat, bleats I know it’s feeding time. The five sheep are rather modest neighbours. Ben has broken his right hind foot when kicked by Jerry Red, the cow. He’s been walking around with his foot in a plaster cast since then.

The most interesting of the animals to me is Pig. Pig was once a small piglet that had fallen from an animal transporter during loading. They had taken it to Melinda for raising and ensured her that it was a dwarf pig. Today when I visit its stable and exchange a few words with it, I’m surprised every time to see what gigantic monster has become of it. I was not aware that domestic pigs could grow to such enormous size. However, to Pig this is no problem, because none of the inhabitants of Melinda’s and Phill’s farm need to worry about ever being slaughtered. On the contrary, all the animals here are more than just animals until the day they die a natural death. They are members of the family.

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