Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Your quiet ways. You speak quietly, walk quietly, move with quiet motions. You move like someone who is used to working with nervous, flighty animals that are easily frightened. You have a calming presence.

I know about these things, because I've worked with animals for a good part of my life. There are people who spend years with flighty animals who never do learn to behave in a a totally non-threatening, non-alarming manner around their goats, horses, etc. I've tried to explain how to act in order to win the trust of a goat who hasn't been tamed, have spent hours trying to explain it. A lot of them claim it can't be done. They end up selling the animal, maybe for meat...others take the heavy handed route, deciding that they can simply impose their will by force.

What they miss is that the goat doesn't want to be afraid. It doesn't try to be anxious and reactive. All one really has to do is to make it easy and comfortable for the animal to come closer, to see if it's safe, to show it that things really aren't so bad. But this requires patience, restraint, a willingness to make the taming process a joint venture of cooperation, the ability not to rush the animal past its threshold of tolerance, to build trust slowly.

But I digress. Another thing is that your words tended not to be extraneous. I liked that. And, it was clear that you thought about things before distilling them into a few sentences. That's so rare in this shallow, babbling world.

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