Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Trouble in Paradise

My family pampered me during my recent 3-week visit to my home country. I hardly had to lift a finger before my every need and desire was attended to by a hovering group of siblings and relatives. One day when Mom urged someone to take over a light chore (like feeding myself) I was attempting on my own, my younger sister, known for a barbed tongue, snapped, "it's time we trouble her to do something. She's lived a life out of this world for way too long, a little work won't hurt her."

She was referring to what was perceived as my idyllic, arcadian, pastoral, American, country life.

She was mostly right, both in perception and judgment.

But things have been rough in paradise the past few days. The two sick calves KDM had been trying to nurture back to health were attacked by our very own dogs during the night before, one driven into the pond and drowned, the other found lying on its back barely alive, its ears and legs mauled to bloody mess. The sight was horrific. When KDM informed me of the incident, he had a shotgun in hand and was looking for the dogs.

The past twenty-four hours have been a roller-coaster ride of hope and despair. Our rescue work is made extremely difficult by the three-digit heat. While KDM has gotten the drown calve out of the pond, the ground is too hard to dig a hole in which to bury the animal. Among the thirsty trees and crunchy grass, the vultures are coming as the day is heating up. At this very moment, the survival of "Bud," the calf with a tattered ear who's hanging on to dear life, is uncertain to say the least. As for the future of the dogs, I've run out of excuses to defend them. Their crimes have been too heavy. I can hardly believe they were capable of such savagery. I'm bringing them food and water out of a little more than humane sympathy.

I realize that my psyche is undergoing a stress test.