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Today is different than yesterday.  There are strange occurrences taking place.  Some of us are disappearing, without being beaten, without being tormented, cut, castrated, or murdered.  I have learned that death comes in many forms, and that there is no death without suffering.  We do not die peacefully.  However, at this time there is no stench of blood, no screaming.  We are confused and frightened.  Yesterday we didn’t know if our throats would be cut or if our limbs would be severed from our bodies while we were still alive, but at least we had structure, and the routine was our only security.  Today we are without even that.

Something new and sudden is happening to me today.  I am loaded into a large box or crate of sorts on some volatile machinery and no others are with me.  I know it is a machine because I hear the familiar sounds of one.  Machines typically mean suffering and eventually death and therefore I am terrified.  When I hear the machines, I hear the screams, the bellows of discomfort, I see the blood and smell the loss of life.  This machine begins to move and the motion makes me sick.  I cannot stand very well because of the movement and sometimes I lose my balance.  But through the cracks in the wooden crate, I smell fresh air, not death.

I arrive at what I suppose is where I am intended to be.  I don’t want to come out of the crate because I am scared.  But they beckon me to come, they do not beat me, and I am curious, so after some time, I exit and go to them without their force.  They lead me to a wide open area within a wooden fence.  The fabulous brightness burns my eyes and it is wonderful.  It is the sun.  The sun amidst a blue and endless vastness.  The air is filled with a light wind carrying the scent of apples.  I look around and learn that I am seeing a brilliant apple orchard and the smell is perfect.  I feel like I never really breathed before today.

I am given food that tastes good and natural and I instinctively recognize that it is what I am supposed to be eating.  There is a little one with long, curly hair, she calls me pig, and she feeds me from her hand.  It is the best thing that has ever happened to me.  I realize that the thing I was lacking yesterday was connection.  Connection with another living being, connection with life itself, not just living.  In the place I was at yesterday, we were crammed together, we could barely move, forced to impose upon one another’s space.  We had no connection but the awareness of each other’s suffering.  Here, I am joined by others and we play.  We run.  My legs experience a brilliant ache as we run in the grass and the sun is so hot, we roll in the dirt to keep our skin cool.  The water we drink is clean and the taste is pure, for me it is as sweet as the apples.

I am also given what I learn to be medicine to help take away the pain in my body.  In the other place, they did not bother to bring relief for pain, only to purposely inflict it.  I no longer feel afraid.  However, I am certain that I will die.  I have learned that death is inevitable.  But instincts tell me my time is not too soon.  I don’t know what form it will take, but until then, I am comfortable, content, and I feel safe.  They will not hurt me here and I am no longer an object, but a life.  I do not know why I was in that other place, or why I am now here.  We were all different creatures there but we were all treated the same.  I don’t know if others were saved from slaughter.  Maybe they are still dying in pain, lacking what I now have.  I do not know what distinguishes fate.  I am a simple being, but my heart beats just like anyone’s.  And today I am alive.