One Big Farm Family, Animals Included
From the earliest years, animals were an important part of my life.
We laughed each autumn to see Peek-a-Boo the pig munching apples off the ground below the branches of the apple trees. She stayed in her pen during the rest of the year, but the sweet smell of apples always enticed her to escape.
Chickens scratched in the yard and perched on roosts in the hen house at night. Sometimes the eggs in the nesting boxes were still warm when we gathered them. One day, Daddy reached under a hen and she laid an egg in his hand. We were always excited to crack an egg and discover a double yolk.
Velvet the cow grazed in the pasture and was led into the barn to be milked. We usually watched the first few squirts of milk land in the tin pail before scampering away to play in the hay mow. When we returned, the bucket was full of fresh, frothy milk and Velvet was contentedly chewing her cud.
Gentle dogs welcomed table scraps from us, then licked our fingers, causing us to giggle. We enjoyed cats, birds, fish and turtles. Later, hamsters and guinea pigs were included. The list expanded over the years to experience gerbils, mice, rabbits, prairie dogs and horses, thanks to positive exposure to animals from an early age.