Thursday, March 30, 2017

Barn Animals, Friends to Those that Ask

When I was little, I would sometimes go to a farm on top of a hill. There were pigs there, pushing their nose against the mud, looking for treats. From the hill top, you could see the sea glittering in the distance. The farm smelled like hay and manure and salt and brine. I remember going there once in preschool. We walked down a path to get to the farm. Next to the path was a red creek winding down the hill. My friend told me it was blood. I was little and believed her, although it wasn't the color of blood, it was more the organy color of clay and sediment. The same friend taught me about sour grass that day. Sour grass is long yellow flowers that you can chew on the bottom of to get a sweet sour taste. Sometimes I think all of this was really just a dream.

I went to a farm here in Washington recently with my family. We saw all the barn animals which was the best part. Animals always make a day better.

It was cold on the day that we were at the farm. The Ducks stayed still to huddle in the warmth of their feathers. They kept their heads slouched low and sometimes chattered a low quack. Probably they were talking to each other saying things like "Oh Myrtle, the chill in the air isn't good for my ducky bones." Or, "Rover, lets leave it all behind and fly south to the tropics where we can perch atop tall fruit trees with the parrots."

There were two pigs, one brown and one black and white, both with coarse fur and friendly demeanor's. They trotted around their pins grunting lightly and looking at every human who loomed over them with a glimmer in their piggy eyes. They probably had ancestors that found truffles in forests, a noble profession for a pig. But no less noble then making people smile, and even better, making people think about the sentience of a pig.

I love donkeys. They might be one of my spirit animals along with otters and cormorants. I can imagine having a long lasting friendship with a donkey. 

Sheep are friendly and funny creatures. My friend and I befriended one named Bob when we were in high school. I don't know what this sheep's name was.

 Cows are stoic and docile creatures, often accused of low intelligence when it is easy to see by looking in their eyes that despite their gentleness, they've got wit. They understand a sort of wisdom that far surpasses that of humans. They understand things about the grass and the sky and the smell of the air that we will never understand.

Gentle, playful and charismatic barn animals... they are friends to those that ask for their friendship and neutral to those who shy away. 

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