Posted on Sep 03, 2020
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
Ferdinand was orphaned at only eight weeks old when his mom was slaughtered and he was brought to The Gentle Barn. Sad, sick, and scared, he took a long while to heal in our barnyard. Each day I would paint the picture of what his life would look like and eventually he stepped into it playing ball, kicking up his heals, and allowing our gentle hands to fill him up.
Once his quarantine was over and he was healthy, we introduced him to our older cow, Lucy. It was love at first moo! Lucy ate with him, played with him, slept by his side, and adopted him so completely that she actually produced milk for him! She loved him with her whole soul, gave him a bath every night, nursed him three times a day, and raised a fine young lad!
Two years later Lucy passed away from old age and mobility issues. I begged her to get better and stay so Ferdinand wouldn’t have to go through the pain of losing his second mom. But Lucy looked me in the eye and told me that Ferdinand was stronger than I thought and more resilient than I knew. She told me to believe in him. So with his human and bovine family surrounding him and supporting him, Ferdinand grieved for many months. But as time often does, it moved him through his mourning and pulled him forward.
Ferdinand settled into a new normal with the other cows. But as he grew larger and full of young, new energy, it became clear that Ferdinand outgrew our main location with the doting and sleepy seniors and was ready for something bigger. So we brought Ferdinand to our Sun Chlorella Healing Center in Agua Dulce where he would have more room to run and more friends to play with. At first he was scared, but soon was accepted by the other cows and became part of the herd. The matriarchs disciplined him so he would be polite. The young ones played with him. And the cows his age kept him company. He stopped head butting us and even allowed us to groom him everyday while he stood still and enjoyed it.
I believe we are all stronger than we think and more resilient than we know! And no matter what we are faced with, we can heal our wounds and recover. In these uncertain times it feels good to learn from Ferdinand to roll with the punches, use friends and family as a support, and celebrate the small things that make life worth living!
Ferdinand turns three this month and we can’t wait to celebrate him and all his victories with lots of singing and cookies. Please join us for our Gentle Drive Thru on a Sunday and come see how big, strong, and handsome Ferdinand is! For more info and tickets, go to gentlebarn.org/gdrive