Over recent months I’ve been thinking a lot about the groups of people I belong to, both online and on Earth. I’ve also been thinking about how we go about making those connections. Building the relationships. Making our place in the group.
In short, I’ve been thinking about Tribes.
Today as I was chopping wood for our amazing and warm fireplace, a link between what I’ve been thinking and what’s been happening here at home came together in the following story.
I hope you enjoy it.
Wilma’s Wisdom on Building a Tribe
Here at home we live a good life and in the main it is without too many drama’s…. until recently that is.
That was the day that Fred and Wilma decided they would sleep rough and settled themselves in for the night, under the Eastern Verandah.
Let me explain.
At about 6pm a gorgeous, clever and very quiet Fox paid them a visit and poor Fred disappeared out of our lives forever.
Of course a dramatic search and rescue mission was immediately launched, with both adult humans and three excited dogs scouring the boundary and calling urgently Duck! …Duck! …Duck!
Eventually, when hope was almost gone, a responding ‘Here I am…QUACK!’ was heard from the Western most edge of our vast 2 acre estate.
There She sat.
Immobilised, scared and confused beneath a tree, near the fence. No doubt left that way, so the gorgeous, clever and very quiet Fox could come back and get her, when things calmed down a bit.
The rest of the flock were carefully checked and all the doors and gates and fences checked all over again and we took poor Wilma inside and made her a clean, quiet, dark little nest in one of the big dog cages… right in the middle of the living room.
‘If she makes it through the night, we’ll take her to the Vet” we agreed and we sat, a little sadly and wondered about her fate and how sad it was that Fred was gone. Forever.
That Fox returned night after night, – multiple times a night looking to collect on that Duck he had left behind on that dark and awful night, and now we have dogs who are highly attuned to the sound of a gorgeous, clever and very quiet Fox doing his daily rounds.
We hope as a result we’ll never have to have such a traumatic evening ever again.
The next morning, She was there – sad, quiet, confused and very bloody.
We took her to the vet and they said “Leave her here and we’ll take a look at her”.
So we went for coffee in the town and did our shopping and then returned to hear the news. They were still looking at her.
So Home we went, and later in the day, we collected Wilma. Wilma with some feathers shaved and wounds tended, and some long term pain killers injected. “She may still not live” we were warned, “the wounds are very deep and may have damaged her digestive system”.
But She was home.
She lived in our living room, in that clean, quiet cave, inside the big dog cage for about a week.
She drank and slept but did not eat. I was worried.
Eventually I took the cage out into the sunshine on the front verandah – I thought it might cheer her up. It did. But not as much as the sight of Ginger (top hen in the henhouse) as she came wandering across the grass to see what all the fuss was about.
The Flapping of Wings!
The stumbling on a still very, very tender leg… with a foot that just wouldn’t do what a Duck foot should.
With such a response we decided to see if She would eat anything. We put some grain in a dish outside the cage and another dish with some grain inside the cage… right next to each other through the bars and Ginger began to eat and so did Wilma. I cried tears of relief and knew she would be just fine.
Now that I knew she would live and was assured by our lovely Vet that her leg would heal in time, I turned my attention to the next most obvious problem. It was now clear to me that Wilma had been quite lonely in the middle of our living room and that the mere sight of one of the hens from her yard had lifted her spirits enough to eat and start to heal properly. But what about company when she returned to the flock?
You see, although they shared a yard… the Ducks did Duck things and the Hens did Hen things and they didn’t really socialise much with each other at all.
Birds are, after all, social beings just like us but they like THEIR Mates, THEIR Tribe.
After about two and half weeks we decided to put Wilma back outside to wander about on the grass and eventually to be made comfy and safe and warm in her own little quarters beneath our raised hen house. It was where She and Fred had chosen to sleep (when they were not out camping) so we knew it would be appropriate.
She was a bit pushed around for a couple of days and I felt very sorry for her but eventually noticed that she was attempting to start a conversation with Lucy.
Lucy wasn’t having any of it, mind you, but Wilma was not one to be brushed off too quickly and she persevered.
She has those lovely fluffy feathers under her tail that make her look like her petticoats are showing. She also tends to be a bit of a loner. I will often find her a long way from all the other hens.
She prefers her own company and is not one to gossip or go around bothering other folks in the hen yard.
Wilma obviously decided that here was someone who understood what it was like to be without a mate. Without a Tribe. So she set about making friends with Lucy, who was not very impressed at all!
At first, Lucy jumped away as Wilma sidled up to her in her wiggly, waggly Duck kind of way. But after a week or so, I noticed that Lucy now just tended to ignore the fact that Wilma was her constant companion and Wilma, seemed quite content with that.
Today though, I noticed something that made my heart jump and a smile come to my face that was so happy I almost couldn’t fit that smile on my face.
Let me explain.
Lucy is a late sleeper. She almost always stays up in the hen house, on the high roost, looking out the window ,until after I have opened the gate and let the others out to enjoy the long green grass. (Of course, they are only allowed out while we are at home AND the dogs are on high alert for that gorgeous, clever and very quiet FOX!)
Today was no exception. Out they came. Young Rooster, Ginger, Georgie, Bibbet, Dot and Beryl… and Wilma. They all set off to the western boundary where the very best mulch is, under the Chestnut trees, hiding all the very best and fattest worms. I was chopping wood and loading it into the wheelbarrow and just keeping an eye on things.
The next thing I know there is a real calamity in the hen yard.
A flapping and cackling like you have never heard…as Lucy made her way off the perch, through the hatch in the floor and into the hen yard.
No sooner had the noise subsided than I heard a familiar “Here I Am… Quack!” from the Western Boundary and to my surprise and delight, Lucy lifted her skirts and ran helter skelter to where Wilma was waiting. And they have been together all day … every day I realised, for weeks and weeks and weeks. They are friends. They are both looking out for each other and keeping good company it seems.
A Tribe of Two.
It can be difficult finding your Tribe – some people don’t have the wisdom of Wilma to recognise those like souls with whom they can connect and build wonderful relationships. It took Wilma to experience a real tragedy in her life, she didn’t really take much notice of Lucy while Fred was around.
It may be unclear that this has anything to do with your business or with social media but it really does. It’s about a message and a connection, it’s about recognising the people who are your tribe and the kind of things that need to happen for them to recognise you have what they are looking for.
There is more to this story – there will be more about Wilma’s Wisdom and how you can use it in your business. Make sure you subscribe to updates so you don’t miss a step, don’t miss a post.
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