Better than a petting zoo

I was pretty tiny when my grandmother introduced me to my first farm animal. She taught me how to pull up a clump of grass, and hold my hand open, so the cow wouldn’t nip my fingers. I was tickled when that big ole cow’s tongue raked across my little hand, sweeping all that grass into her mouth. I was fascinated.

Later, I thought I would surely live on a farm. The nearest I came was renting an adorable little house that someone had created out of a tobacco barn. I took evening walks around the peanut fields, enjoying the fresh, summer air.

I’ve grown softer with age, though. And I’ve never been an early bird (read that “up before dawn”) type of person, nor can I see myself getting up in the dark to milk the cows or feed the horses or whatever it is farm people do while the rest of us sleep. But I do love farms. And the animals that live on them.

My oldest daughter and recently I took a long-overdue road trip to see my sister’s family in Virginia. Cassie got to meet her little cousins, 3, and not-quite-1.  We both managed some cuddle time with the little one, and enjoyed getting to know her big sister. When Teresa and C.H. offered to take us to the farm, we didn’t hesitate. Even the drizzle couldn’t keep us away.

Cassie hadn’t been to their farm. I had, and couldn’t wait to see Lily and Gracie again. I made their acquaintance three years ago, and as they were rescue horses, my sister was trying to fatten them up. Gracie was still a baby then, resembling a pony more than a horse. What a difference three years made! Lily is gorgeous, and Gracie is grown, and so beautiful.

Lily and Grace 2013
Lily and Gracie, a few years back.
cassie and horses
Cassie, meet Lily and Gracie! Two gorgeous, glossy horses.

We fed the Boer goats (who couldn’t seem to get enough)!

hungry goat
Hungry goats are impatient goats.

We saw a Dexter calf. I couldn’t figure out which one was Mama, but none of them let us get too close.

Cute, huh!

I enjoyed seeing all the animals, but I think Cassie’s favorite was this little guy:

meeting Dusty
For her first experience with equines, Cassie did alright! She made friends with Dusty, a standard crossback donkey, and took a short ride on Lily.

I may never live on a farm, but I’m glad there’s a farm in the family.