There are some things which are beyond understanding and there is a common and weird thread between the following incidents which I have no explanation for.
Some time ago, I’d been for a long walk with my dogs, over the top of the hills behind my house. It was while I was heading for home that I veered from the path I usually took and it was then I saw it; hanging upside down with one of its back legs caught in a wire fence – a lamb. When I approached it, I could see that its back foot was caught in a loop of wire. Its attempts to pull itself free had only served to pull the loop tighter. I lifted the lamb in my arms to take the weight off its back leg. The poor thing was as light as a feather, from which I surmised it had been trapped there for some considerable time. Holding the lamb under one arm, I used my free hand to try to untangle the wire from around its leg. The wire was thick and inflexible. For a moment, I despaired of freeing her and was wondering how long it would take to walk to the nearest dwelling (about a quarter mile away) to borrow some wire cutters. Thankfully, with a little more effort, I finally managed to free the lamb and placed it gently on the ground. It limped away on three legs, one leg dangling behind. It went off to join the rest of its flock and rejoin the mother who must have all but given up hope.
This wasn’t the the only time I’ve rescued animals from impending death. I’ve rescued numerous sheep that have pushed their heads through fences thinking the grass was greener on the other side ( as we do), only to find themselves stuck fast. One such sheep had worked so hard and for so long to free itself, the fence wire had become embedded in its matted wool. It took a long time to tear the wool free of the wire and then turn the sheep’s head every which way to try to pull it back through. All the while, the sheep was pulling away from me, making my task harder. A sheep, even while weakened by lack of food and water, is a very strong animal when frightened.
Then there was the sheep that had got itself trapped in a brook. The brook was narrow with high banks on either side. The sheep had either jumped or fallen in and its fleece had become so waterlogged and heavy the sheep could not get back out. It was back-breaking work trying to lift the poor animal out of the stream but I was miles away from any habitation so there was no one I could ask for help. Eventually, I managed to drag her out and laid her down on the grass nearby. Such was the weight of her waterlogged fleece, combined with weakness from being trapped there for goodness only knows how long, she could not get to her feet. I had no idea who she belonged to so I left her there with a prayer that she would recover. I went back the next day with some hay for her but she was gone. I guess when her fleece had time to dry out she was able to get to her feet.
Though it is usually sheep I find trapped in wire fences, one winter when there was snow on the ground I rescued a full grown buzzard. It had become tangled between two layers of overlapped wire fencing. It was very frightened and distressed and while I worked to free it, it opened its beak wide and hissed at me ferociously. I carried it home. It continued to hiss and glare at me along the way until I got home and placed it in a cardboard box. I don’t know how long it had been trapped but it weighed next to nothing. I had no idea how best to care for it and so phoned the R.S.P.C.A. I couldn’t get out as our lane was blocked by snow, but the R.S.P.C.A. chap walked the mile of lane through the snow and up our hill, to come and collect the bird.
I’ve lost count of the animals I’ve rescued over the many years I’ve been walking the hills of Mid-Wales. The eerie thing which connects them all is that every time I have rescued an animal or bird, without exception, it has been when I have made an unintended diversion to my route. As on the day I rescued the buzzard, I had been walking the snow covered hills and was tired, cold and weary, making my way home. Then, for no reason I can explain, I decided to make a diversion around a field behind my house instead of coming straight home as intended. If I had come straight home, the buzzard would have died of starvation.
This is how it has been on every occasion that I have rescued an animal from impending death; too many times to be explained away as coincidence and always when I have taken a route I did not intend to take. I am quite convinced that I was somehow led to find them. Is it some kind of collective consciousness at work? Some form of telepathy at work between humans and other animals? I cannot know for certain, but my mind is open enough to believe.
Jenny Lloyd is the Welsh author of The Megan Jones trilogy; historical suspense novels set in early, 19th century, rural Wales.
You can read about the books or purchase them by clicking on the links below.
Leap the Wild Water: http://ow.ly/jEoi302jXkd
The Calling of the Raven: http://ow.ly/4uRO302jXmd
Anywhere the Wind Blows: http://ow.ly/73tq302Ov71
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