Another chapter in the life of Bedlam Farm.
Well-known for his stories about his dogs, Katz (Who Speaks for the Carriage Horses: The Future of Animals in Our World, 2014, etc.) now writes about a new animal who unexpectedly entered his life, Simon the donkey. A victim of animal abuse, Simon was rescued from certain death by animal control officers and the local police. Harbored in an old hog pen, with wooden pallets his only protection from the rain and snow, Simon was stuck up to his shoulders in mud and his own manure, covered in rat bites and lice, and not expected to live through the night. Delivered to Bedlam Farm, Katz and his wife, Maria, poured their love and kindness into the donkey and administered to his wounds on a daily basis. In return, "Simon came to life in stages, slowly, unfurling like one of those slow-motion videos of buds opening in the spring." The invaluable lesson Simon taught Katz was compassion, for not only the animals he encountered, but also for the men and women in his life, including the farmer who abandoned Simon to his fate in the hog pen and Katz's mother, who had emotionally abandoned Katz during his childhood. Full of reflections on the interactions, both physical and emotional, between animals and humans, Katz's story revolves around Simon and includes the moments when old dogs die, the arrival of a new border collie and the slow integration of a blind pony into life at Bedlam Farm. More introspective than previous stories, perhaps reflecting his desire for a slower pace in life, this book handles the emotional highs and lows of living with animals with empathy and thoughtfulness, forcing readers to re-examine their own meanings of compassion and mercy.
A heartwarming tale of rescue and redemption.