From Shawnee: “I am so deeply appreciative of the gift of having friends. It is beautiful to share a moment in time with another. It can be just an everyday thing like being out and grazing on my favorite hillside. It can be just a moment when a large bird comes down and lands near us and my friend and I both get startled for a second and then realize we both spooked for no reason. That sounds like it’s nothing, but to share that moment together is sacred. It makes that moment something unique to the two of us – a shared moment that only the two of us can understand. Watch for your everyday shared moments. Because these are the opportunities we have to be grateful in a moment of companionship. It is truly a big deal to be grateful for.”
From Hero: “What has gotten me through all of my hard times is knowing how much I love to be alive. I’ve had major challenges and could have died, but my will to live is based on my love of living. I believe you can get through anything as long as you can find gratitude in your heart even when it seems like you’ve been handed a bad deal. Sometimes things get hard. Sometimes we feel alone. But these are the times we need to stop and look deep for just one thing that we are grateful for in our lives. It can be a simple as feeling like you are grateful for your next breath. And then take that breath and make it a good one. I am grateful to have this life to live. And I am grateful to be loved. All the other things were just bumps along the way.”
From Cashew: “I am grateful to live my life freely. My life wasn’t always like that. I was once confined and unable to get out of a situation that I couldn’t survive in. I am grateful now to have a life that I love. I have everything I need. And I can watch the sun rise each day feeling a sense of wellness and that all is right in my life. I never thought I would find this. I hope you can find joy at just seeing the sun rise. And that you can find comfort at sunset that you have been given the gift of another day. It feels really good!”
From Friday: “I just love being a rabbit! I love being agile and to have all of the senses that I do. Everything in life is so full of wondrous smells. I love all the smells in hay. I love my veggies. Green smells so ….well, green. Can you as a human smell colors? I don’t think you can. You don’t know what you are missing. I can smell sunshine and rain. I can smell all the different smells that humans bring in each day. It’s like getting to know so much about the world around me just by smelling. I can get so much information about the world. I can even smell when someone is afraid or if they are bursting with joy. Yes, if I had to pick one thing today that I am most grateful for it is the ability to smell all the things life has to offer.”
From Jacob: “So I’m not sure how to answer this question. I’m not as smart as many of the other cats here. I just know how to live my life. I’m happy. I have a friend who I like to share things with. I like feeling sunshine. I like hearing birds. I like to go out in my catery and find things in the grass. I love purring and making people smile. If I can make someone else feel joy or at least a little happiness then that makes me happy too. It all seems pretty simple to me. I think sometimes people make life more complicated. Just be you. And believe in yourself. Trust your heart. And it would be great if you could all learn to purr. That would be helpful. But for the time being you should be content with a cat to do that for you.”
From José: “I am grateful to be old. And truly blessed to grow older each day. I’ve seen a lot in life. I’ve known a lot of horses over the years and lost a lot of friends. I never forget them. Being a horse does not offer certainty in relationships. I have made strong bonds with humans and with other horses, only to be moved one day and never see them again. I don’t think people think about that. We horses connect strongly and love deeply. We are not just “your ride” for whatever time you are interested in us for. We honor you. We trust you. And we mourn the losses that we incur. I live my life knowing I have connected with many great souls. I don’t know where they are now. They don’t know where I am either. But we still stay bonded. I have friends here now that I know I will have forever. That brings me great comfort. When we lose someone here, it is because they have moved into spirit. We miss them. But we know they left here loved. And for that, I am forever grateful for the opportunity to grow old.”
‘Tis the night before Christmas and all through the farm,
All the creatures were tucked in and all safe from harm.
The cats were all nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of catnip danced through their heads.
The horses were wistful and the pigs were all quiet,
They had all just been fed their own special diet.
But the quiet was broken by the creak of the door,
When in walked a human to check them once more.
The nightly last check and refresh of hay,
Is a happy occasion at the end of their day.
So quietly the human made her way all around,
The munching of hay was a wonderful sound.
The peace was so peaceful and the quiet so nice,
When all of a sudden the donkeys thought twice.
With a chorus of bellows they let loose their brays,
And they told their dear human to hurry their way.
Now the truth should be told that they had plenty to eat,
But the donkeys all twirled around while stamping their feet.
The human obeyed them and gave them a snack,
Because the animals were promised there’d be nothing they lack.
Merry Christmas from all of the animals of Spring Farm CARES. Volume up when you watch the video.
From Betsy: “I love being a chicken! Let’s see, here are some of my favorite things. I love taking a good dust bath in a big ray of sunshine. Granted, I have to beat my other chicken friends to the really good ones, but if they are big enough patches of sun, then more than one of us can enjoy them at the same time. I am not combative. But I do like to claim my own space. I also love a good meal worm or two. I know, you humans tend to get grossed out by that. But it’s what we chickens eat!My best advice is to savor, savor, savor all the things you love. Life is short no matter how long you live. Enjoy every single second of it. And when life gets tough and knocks you down, just get up, dust yourself off, find a ray of sunshine, and take a good dust bath. You will be filled with gratitude when you do!”
From Clark: “Being a goat is a privilege and honor and I do not take that lightly. Life can be a lot of fun. It can also get really heavy too. But being a goat seems to bring other’s joy and I like that. I like it when kids see me and laugh. I love doing goat things and playing and climbing and making goat sounds. I think my question for you all is what do you like about being human? What’s the thing you like most about who you are? I’d love to hear your answers. I don’t think you think about these things much. You seem to be amused by our answers to these questions. But what are your answers? Please share.”
From Piper: “I’ll tell you what I find funny in my life. I’ve never been able to see. Yet I am in no way disabled. I am enabled. If you spend a few minutes with me, you will notice that there is nothing I cannot do. I do everything that the cats with vision do. It’s my super power. I zoom up cat trees. I can balance on small edges. I climb doors. I can even climb up and pull the light string and turn off the light. And in some cases, I can do it faster than most cats who can see. ‘How can he do that!’ the humans proclaim with wonder. I do it because I trust that I can. I can do it because I believe that I can. If your mind knows it can be done, your body will follow, no matter what others perceive your limitations to be. I am grateful for a mind that knows no limitations.”
From Carley: “I am very grateful to be a little donkey. I love being a donkey! My most favorite time of the day is when the sun rises. We watch it come up over the hill and I also know that our human friends will be here soon to feed us. I love watching them arrive for work. Many times, I can tell their moods just by watching them walk. Some of them come here stressed and worried but then they come up with us donkeys and they start to calm down. I also love my voice. I can call out when it is all quiet on the farm and get the donkeys in the other areas of the farm to call back. It is a sound of unity. A sound that all is well. And it brings comfort. I like all of that. It makes being a donkey a really great opportunity to give from my heart. Oh, and don’t let my kindness fool you. I can be feisty too! When you are the smallest little donkey, you sometimes need to be fierce in the eyes of the boy donkeys in particular. Small but mighty….that is me! But also always grateful for the kindness shown to me.”
From Alice: “I used to be bullied and picked on because I am different. Life was hard. I couldn’t catch a break at all. I didn’t even care about living anymore. But then, I was found and someone stepped in to help me. I came here to the farm and I found a life that I never knew I could have. I have everything I need in this world. All the food I need. Soft places to sleep. I am warm and dry and comfortable. My legs may be deformed and I may move differently than the other cats. But the thing I am most grateful for in my life is that I am accepted for who I am. I have friends. Human friends. Cat friends. Friends. Here is what I want you to know. If you are feeling pushed out and unwanted. If you feel that you cannot find your way. Please don’t give up. You may not be in the best place now, but that can change. It all can become brighter. Life will not always be a struggle. Just believe that things can get better. I know that is hard. But it is what will change your life. I believe in you.”
From Eloise: “I am most grateful and joyful for the sun. It doesn’t matter to me what season it is. Sunny days hold a joyfulness that permeates my entire body. Even on days when it is too hot, I get to wallow in the mud to keep cooler and still enjoy the sun. The sun is a constant companion that we can trust. If things seem dark and dreary, you can always know that the sun is still there and will shine on you once again. I like knowing that. It is nice.”
From Nell: “I am so grateful for friendship. This year we had a scare when we almost lost my dear horse friend Ginny. She got really sick very suddenly. It was really scary. The last I saw was her going on to a trailer and then she was gone for more than a week. Our humans here kept telling us updates and that she had a big surgery. We all sent Ginny our love so that she could get better and would know that we were still here for her. I was so excited the day she came back home! And now, several months later, we are back to enjoying life as usual. I will never take that friendship for granted again. I am so grateful for the love and care of a good friend. I think we should all take time to be grateful every single day. It is healing for our own hearts.”
From Woodward: “What I have found to be the most amazing thing in my life is learning to trust. I am blessed with people who were really patient with me. I was born wild. And then when I was still very young, I got attacked by an animal that almost killed me. I fought back hard but was badly injured. I was in so much pain. When people found me, they tried to help but I fought them because I was scared. Eventually I ended up here at the farm and they helped me to heal. With all of this, I started to watch other cats around me who were friendly with humans. They seemed really happy. I was so scared. But I decided to give it a try. Learning to trust was a big effort and it has changed my entire life. I still need people to move slowly at first. But I am so proud of myself when I purr and purr while they pet me. Sometimes we just need to take risks on things that at first seem scary. It was a blessing in my life and I am grateful.”
From Luna: “Being a goat is an exquisite honor. There is an art to being a goat. One needs to always be mindful of two things – joy and joyfulness. A goat needs to embody the state of joy. And in doing the duties of a goat, one needs to spread joyfulness to others. It is great to make humans laugh or smile. Being a goat lends itself nicely to that. I love being agile. I love being able to intimidate people when I want to (for sport of course), and I love to get humans to play. I also like the gift of being able to bat my eyes and have humans swarm to bring me treats. But most of all, I am grateful for the humans who care for me. They have worked hard to make my life a good one and I am deeply appreciative of that. I do want them to know that. Even the ones who I tease and chase – I am grateful for all they do. And, I’m grateful to all of you who are listening to the thoughts from a cute little goat like me. I hope you have a good day!”
From Noah: “I am a donkey who likes to take things slowly. That doesn’t mean I’m stubborn, but I just don’t like to rush through life. I choose to savor moments. Life is precious. I’ve lost many friends along the way. I see humans rushing through their day and not even really appreciating things. Sometimes you need to allow yourself a moment to smile. Watch the sun reflecting on the trees and the pretty pattern it makes on the wall. Feel comfort in the warmth of a snuggle with your favorite animal. Allow yourselves to smile – it is one of my favorite traits in humans. Smile. Be human. Appreciate the simple things. That is what I do and I’m grateful to be a donkey. “
From Hermey: “I’m not always clear about bigger thoughts in life. It’s not that I don’t have higher thoughts. But sometimes I notice that humans, for example, think too much. Sometimes they miss the simplest of things because they are making things more complicated than they need to be. I see people around me make really interesting choices. It’s almost as if you humans look to see what the most difficult path for yourself is and then run right out there to tackle that path. You need to look around you more. Be curious about things. And don’t just take someone else’s word for things. You are really smart creatures. But sometimes you forget to think for yourselves. And I say all of this lovingly. I watch you all operate in the world under high stress when you could remember to stop and purr a little and breathe a lot. You’d be so much happier.”
From Mia: “I am so grateful to answer this. My friend Waylon and I came here together after enduring a very rough time where we once were. I knew Waylon was close to dying and we had to get him out somehow. We were so relieved to end up coming here. You saved our lives. I am forever grateful for that. I am sad to say that we were only here two winters when suddenly Waylon got really sick. I could tell it was not good. He had come so far and looked great. We were happy grazing together and knowing we were safe. But something gave out in his body and he died. I miss my friend. I am grateful to have had him with me. I would say to look around you and be grateful for those you love. And let them know you love them. That would mean a lot to me and would be a great way to honor Waylon.”
From Merlin: “I am most grateful for the joy and help I receive from my human friends. I have lost my eyesight now. I am old. I am stiff. I have to live my life a little slower and smaller than I once did. But, and this is so important, I may look different to you, but I am still me inside. And I am happy. People hear I am blind and pity me. I do not want pity. I want to spread joy. I make wonderful sounds and mimic all sorts of things. I work hard at this. Why? Because it makes people laugh. I can say ‘Hello!’ And someone will answer me back. I’ve even trained them to whistle back to me. I have continual connection with all sorts of people. I don’t have to see them. I can feel them. And I want them to feel me. I am not sad. I am not living in the dark. If you feel that for me, than you are seeing your own fear and not mine. I’m just a little slower and take life at a different pace than I used to. There is a certain peace in that actually. I send you wishes to find peace inside your own selves. Yes, that is what I want for the humans around me. I want them to find their own peace.”
From Lucy: “Some people think I am a bossy cat. But that is not really the truth. Ok, I can be opinionated for sure.Maybe even a little pushy at times. I’ll give you that. But I am never ill-intentioned. What I have noticed with people is that sometimes they need a little guidance. Sometimes they need to be herded along to where they should be. They get lost in their heads and forget about how to live from their hearts. So I feel I am a bit of a guide. And if they are not listening then I have to get their attention. And sometimes I have to be a little forceful with that. But what I am most grateful for is being allowed to be who I am without judgement. And when I feel appreciated for being myself, it feels really good. Take time each day to appreciate someone or something in your life. And then let them know. It can change someone’s day to feel appreciated. Thank you!”