On June 22 Bourbon the mad rooster woke up with a mild depression. It was very mild: like stomach pain after a night of undisciplined eating of fresh grass. Still, depression is depression. It paints the world grey, seeps through your veins like a sneaky lunatic and binds your will to the ground.
Bourbon got up and sauntered through the yard with an unsteady gait. His body felt heavy. The sun was shining optimistic and bright, and filled the air with pointless happiness.
Everybody was enjoying themselves. Gin the genius was advertising a massive promotion. O’Murphy the dog was playing hide and seek with a terrified chicken. Cocktail the cat was sleeping under a spot of sun. A company of drunken flies danced around a pile of manure in uncontrollable ecstasy.
At first Bourbon thought that the general feeling of joy would have a therapeutic effect on him. He situated himself close to the manure and its fly-dance crown, and began to inhale the buzzing merriment emanating from there.
Ten minutes passed without noticeable improvement. In fact Bourbon discovered that the happiness of others had the opposite effect on him. It made his depression worse. He began to wish for some rain and wind to restrain the annoying jolliness that filled the yard.
Just as Bourbon was considering going to the main house and offering up himself as a volunteer for chicken soup, Stella Artois, the goat, sat next to him.
‘How’s it going?’ Stella asked.
‘Not very well’, Bourbon replied. ‘I am depressed’.
‘Yesterday I got a new boyfriend’, Stella explained. ‘He’s a real stag’.
‘I don’t really know what’s happening to me’, Bourbon continued, trying to steer the conversation in the right direction. ‘It’s not like something dramatic has happened. But I feel I’m getting nowhere. The days just come and go’.
‘His name’s Budweiser. His friends call him Bud, but some of them can’t pronounce it properly and is sounds like Butt’, said Stella, visibly annoyed.
‘I wonder what the solution is’, Bourbon murmured almost to himself.
‘The solution is to call him Wiser’, said Stella categorically. ‘You can’t go wrong with that’.
‘No, I mean the solution to my depression. I think I let my doubts to drag me down too easily. I should probably make a more conscious effort to focus on the good things in life. Appreciate the little grains of corn lying everywhere on the ground.’
‘The main problem with that is he does not like being called Wiser’, Stella replied bitterly. ‘I can’t understand what’s wrong with a name like Wiser. It sounds so competitive, so grand’.
They both sat there silently for a while. One of the flies tried to enter Stella’s mouth, but she closed it quickly and put an end to that ambition.
Bourbon felt the veil of his depression slowly lifting. It was good to have another animal being to talk to and share.
‘I feel so much better now’, Bourbon said. ‘Thank you for being there for me.’ Stella Artois, who meanwhile had fallen asleep, grunted softly.
Bourbon smiled, got up and went looking for the good things in life and the little grains of corn lying on the ground.
Blessed are the extroverts.