The Elephant and The Chicken - Might? or Right?
Updated: Jul 15
This is Suki. We met on a recent trip to Thailand where I had the dubious privilege of witnessing an event that left me shocked and profoundly altered. A paradigm shift supplicated my examining all the possibilities and outcomes that life throws at us daily. I wasn’t prepared for the intense grief, the permanence of loss, and how, even when your world changes in harsh abrupt ways, the sun still shines - even if you don’t want it to.
I was at a rescue sanctuary feeding bananas and sugar cane to the hungry parade of elephants awaiting their daily intake of food (500lbs. per day). The joke there was that an elephants’ day consists of shitting and eating. So far, it rang true.
Suki is a rambunctious, clumsy, 6 month old elephant that managed to run into, trip over, and stumble on every rock, stump, and cranny that she could find. My dad used to say, “…an accident looking for a place to happen”. She did not disappoint.
Roughly 20 feet from where we were feeding the elephants, a mother chicken was tending to her own flock of hungry babies at her nest. They were chirping and pecking, while the rooster stood stoically in the background, still crowing, even though it was midday.
Suki stumbled over to the nest, her trunk flapping, tripping over a branch, and got deathly close to the baby chicks. The mother hen, stood firm to protect her babies. Suki let out an ear-piercing squeal. The mother hen pecked Suki in the leg to save the lives of her babies. Sukis’ mother swirled around, her trunk slapping the two males she was feeding with. At breakneck speed, she ran to the aid of Suki, side by side with the males. It was swift and brutal. The trio pounded and stomped to death that mother hen, crushing her into oblivion. The ground shook like a mild earthquake as I watched in horror. I couldn’t breathe as I attempted ineffectively to comprehend or make sense of what had occurred.
Suki looked on, briefly, with curiosity, and then, with her gangly legs and crooked gait, tripped over a log, and moved on. The mother and two males went back to their sugar cane and bananas. The chicks continued to chirp and rally around the spot where seconds before their mother tended to their needs. The rooster continued to crow. Birds chirped in the background and the glorious sunshine blinded my eyes. Now what?
The mother hen did everything right. Sukis’ mother did everything right. They were both protecting their babies and willing to defend the most precious part of their soul connection to another living creature. Yet, it wasn’t fair. The morality debate of what is “right” could be argued but that doesn’t change the newly altered lives of those babies. What will their fate be? Please don’t send me the “everything happens for a reason” memo. I get it.
Life can change in a heartbeat. We are given this gift and have no idea when it will end, alter, or come crashing down, even when we think we have some semblance of control. What happens externally means nothing. It is how we conduct ourselves in this empirical school we call life. Honour and treasure every moment of every day. Love deeply and share it with as many people as you can. Don’t waste a moment on anything that doesn’t feed your soul. Community keeps one vibrant, healthy, and strong. Be present – listen to your children, love them unconditionally, and model healthy behaviours. Go inside, heal the wounds, and move forward. Be present. There is only now. Your brain is the servant, your heart the master. Intuition is truth; you can trust it.
I am a Medical Intuitive, Reiki Teacher/Practitioner, MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) Meditation Facilitator and Laughter Yoga Facilitator. If you wish to know more about me and what I do please send me an email, or sign up for my blog subscription. Thanks for the read. I welcome your feedback.
Susan Lee Woodward
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