From "Conversation with Old Man Guinnias"

“The complexities of another’s life are what led me here,” the old goat said to me.

He was thinking of the young boy who had raised him for 4-H some fifteen years ago.

“He adored me, but adoration is much more fickle than love,” he paused, “and fleeting.

Conversing with a goat can be a brief encounter, a passing by of,

“Leave a few apples on the tree for me, please,”

or it can be an ongoing dialogue where information is extracted slowly, over time, days even.


From "Conversation with Mother Matilda"

“I remember her ear tips as they drove away,” the old donkey said.

She was speaking about one of her many children.

“No matter where they took them, they came to the earth through me,”
the donkey continued.

They can’t take that from her, I thought.

I put my arms around her neck and lay my head on her withers, looking back over her sagging spine. She didn’t move, except for ear motions to redirect a fly or acknowledge a fluttering hay stem.

“I never watched them get in the trailer,” she went on.

She reached over with her nose, touching an area of her back where scratching would be appreciated. I obliged.


From Conversation with Old Barn

Those old farmers—how like my father they were. All of them just wanting to carry on, with dignity, as themselves. Like the old goats and donkeys who arrived here, they wanted shelter from storms, a place in the shade, and a warm spot for naps. They did not dwell on death, but hoped for a good one, I can only assume.

As I walked away from Old Barn that first day I met her, I heard a warm voice say,

“Dream deep.”

She was a creature of few words, but it was the first of many conversations I’d have with her. I was a dreamer who helped even the wounded moth if I could. We were both caretakers of souls in bodies.