Maia has been visibly trying to temper her “bulldozer” side around Rana and Mara. It seems like she is making genuine overtures for a deeper relationship. We’ve talked about this growth from Maia’s standpoint, but not from Rana’s. Remarkably, Rana has responded to Maia with a welcoming grace. (This is Part II of yesterday’s post).
Rana is still overjoyed by and seemingly attached to her new best friend, Mara. She loves Mara, and that is apparent to everyone. When Maia started to try a little harder, it would’ve been easy for Rana to passively ignore her and continue to focus on her relationship with Mara. Yet, Rana hasn’t. Rana not only responds, but she will step away from Mara to be with Maia.
Rana has been incredibly receptive to Maia’s changing behaviors. By these positive responses, she is reinforcing Maia’s attempts, which helps Maia realize good things happen when she tones down herself and acts on the needs of others. Rana is helping to show her that. It’s beautiful for them, and for Maia’s growth. It shows Rana’s understanding of what it means to be a herd member and part of something larger than herself. These changes are allowing all three of them to grow together.
Since her arrival, Rana often shows some sort of response when Maia has popped up. It varies – she will take a few steps away, or trumpet, or get big eyes. As Maia has begun tempering her energy, that response has stopped. We had recently finished doing Rana and Mara’s treatment when we saw Maia approaching where the two were quietly eating hay. When Maia walked over, Mara took a few steps away as Maia and Rana greeted each other. With Mara around 10-15 yards (10 meters) away, Maia and Rana stayed side by side for quite a while. Their bellies were touching, and their ears were flapping.
They were both picking at hay, and eventually started leaning into each other, half napping. It was a moment just between Maia and Rana, and it seemed incredibly sweet. It was a behavior that we don’t remember seeing between the two of them. Mara stayed close, but also remained a respectful distance. Everything was relaxed and gentle. To know that Rana has a new exciting vocal friend that always wants to be near her, but is still taking time to build her relationship with Maia, is incredible. Now that Maia is looking for increased closeness, Rana seems more than willing to give it.
Of course, the new Maia is still Maia, and she was the one who eventually walked away from the interaction. Rana’s receptiveness to Maia is also encouraging Mara to give Maia more of a chance. We don’t know what will happen next, or how dynamics will continue to evolve. With this level of support from Rana, anything is possible.
(Photo of Rana, with Mara in the background).
August 8, 2020
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