It’s Annie’s birthday! And the lovely fairy godmother of chimpanzee birthdays, Paulette Wrisley, has graciously sponsored this day of sanctuary in celebration of Annie on her special day!
Paulette, thank you so very much for helping us celebrate dear, beloved Annie! You just lift all our hearts with your kindness!
Classic Annie and Missy:
If you’ve been following us for while you probably already know many of Annie’s endearing qualities. In short, Annie is a delight! She’s beautiful, kind, loves endless games of chase and wrestle with her best friend, Missy, likes to wear fashionable headbands around her waist in the springtime, fills the chimp house with “bird noises” by whistling with her mouth and hands when she is particularly relaxed and content, and is our resident snake alarm, letting all the world know the instant she sees a snake near the chimpanzees’ enclosures.
Annie is turning 47! While we don’t know her exact date of birth, we know she was born in 1974, most likely in Africa. Since the arrival of Annie’s group to the sanctuary over 13 years ago, it’s Annie who has probably changed the most. She tends to be so inextricably linked with her best friend, Missy, that “AnnieMissy” is often considered one word here at the sanctuary. Yet with each passing year, she has become increasingly brave, adventurous, curious, creative and independent in her own right. Not to mention, filled with moxie. Yeah, that last bit gets her into a little trouble at times, but we can’t help but secretly love it all the same.
These days Annie seems to embrace the peace she finds in solitude and solo adventures. It’s not uncommon to find everyone inside except Annie, who might then be found at the top of Young’s Hill, at the top of a structure, all on her own, serenely taking in the view. Or curled up in a nest of blankets at the top of the greenhouse on warm summer nights as she looks out over the hill, falling asleep as the sun sets while everyone is tucked into their night nests indoors. In fact, some of my most cherished of summer moments are when I’m able to tiptoe out to the greenhouse after the chimp house is settled for the night, just before I leave, to see if she’s out there and whisper goodnight to her. It’s really not in the saying goodnight that I cherish, but in the seeing her there, content, at ease, in her own little world of wonder.
These may not sound like big deals, but for someone who has overcome the seemingly insurmountable odds she has, these moments that she now gets to choose are life-changing. And while we can only imagine just how much, our hearts sing and soar along with her.
Happiest of birthdays and fullest of hearts, Annie!! You are so cherished!
Be sure to tune back in later today for the party happenings! You never know what the chimps will get up to and we’ve got a box of fresh coconuts with Miss Annie’s name on it. 🙂