Babe May 1, 1995-February 6, 2012
LOVE—SO MUCH LOVE AND THANKS—to all of you who shared kind and loving words of support, along with your memories of a beloved friend. I will cherish them for the rest of my days. A Huffington Post blog about Babe is in the works; meantime, enjoy some of my favorite memories…and please share your own! Particularly if Babe was your impetus for going veg, we’d love to hear your story.
For a (very) short while, Babe was a free-ranger. Only he never went anywhere. Free to roam the entire farm, Babe instead stood smack in the middle of the barn aisle, motionless as Peepers the duck patrolled the barn by waddling frantically back and forth, under Babe’s belly. “Quack-quack, quack-QUACK!!” he’d say, rushing under the black giant, who stood unfazed, eyeing the feed room.
A bunch of us were cleaning the cow field. I stood atop the tractor bucket to bellow instructions to volunteers who were spread throughout the large pasture. Babe wandered up to say hello, but got so close that when he turned his head to flick a fly away, he sent me sailing through the air. I landed with a thud, gathered my breath, then laughed hysterically. Babe startled, but then walked over and licked my head.
6:30 am. Two Kingston police cars pull down our driveway. I’m on my way out to a conference and roll down my window. “Are you missing somebody?” a young cop asks. I remember the smile on his face, and I remember somehow knowing that this was code for “Your cows are standing in the middle of the road.” In the road they were, all right…Babe had led his herd through the woods, down Potter Hill Road, and onto VERY BUSY Rt. 9W…and then just stood there. The escapade, and our return walk home (I led Babe, and the others followed) was on the evening news.
Omega Institute invites us to provide animals for their animal communication workshop. When I open the trailer door to see if Babe wants to join us, he evidently does, because he steps right in. I’ll discuss the unforgettable experience at Omega in my HuffPo blog, but a related memory is a dream I had after we returned home. In the dream, Babe came to me and said, “We did a good job this weekend. We did a good, good job. Thank you for choosing me.”
Thank you: big boy, wiseman, mischief-maker, teacher, friend, gentlest of beasts, for choosing us.
Babe remembered in pictures on Flickr.