Today a fellowship application asked me to write about a quirky memory that would teach them something about me.  The prompt reminded me of this funny story about the World Trade Center. It seemed worthy of a share…

In 1995, I lived and worked at Green Chimneys Farm. At the time, the farm served as a residential treatment center for New York City’s most abused kids. The animals had also been abused or wounded; they recovered together. The farm would schedule the release of a hawk or other recovered bird with the release day of a child. We would line up in the field and the child would release the bird and then hop in a car and head back towards New York City. Haunting!

During their treatment,  we often brought the kids and some of the animals back into the city in our program “Farm on the Move!” This enabled our kids to teach others what they had learned and bring city folks in contact with animals. One day, we brought the farm to the plaza of the World Trade Center. Shirley, our beautiful scotch highland cow was getting a bit big for her mobile pen.

Shirley also had a spirit for adventure.

When I turned to check on the Chilly and Willy (the potbellied pigs), Shirley made a run for it. She bound through the plaza right during lunch hour. People could not believe their eyes. We ran after her, worried for her safety. All of a sudden, a man threw his briefcase to the side and wrangled Shirley to the ground. In his beautiful suit, with her under his arm, he brought her over and said, “I’m from Iowa and grew up on a cattle farm. Here’s your cow.”

This is the story I most like to remember about the World Trade Center.

A Shirley look alike