Living on a hobby farm with a crew of kids provides a wealth of material for a story-teller. Our livestock alone were so full of character that their antics could be the subject of many stories. Of course, the kids enjoyed interacting with the animals but we did as well. My husband especially liked his intelligent pigs and always maintained that when animals feel loved, they relate to people in extraordinary ways.In our experience, this premise proved to be correct.
I must admit that when my husband scratches, behind the pigs ears, they actually fall asleep. Our goat Daisy and our pony Starlight tried to get into the house because they considered themselves to be part of the family and one, huge, ancient horse named Moonlight actually did manage to get into the kitchen.
Daisy did not like to be stuck in the barn because she was a socialized goat who gave us milk but she also wanted to be friends. I must admit that she did have a charming personality. If she hadn’t seen anyone in a long time, she’d bleat until someone at least poked their head out of the door and talked to her. She would have made more friends if she had quit eating my flowers or stealing the little people’s hats and pulling on their scarves.
Most of the time we tied her to a post outside the barn , so she could observe the kids but a couple of times a week, we let her follow us around in the vegetable garden. As long as she mainly ate weeds, we let her be part of the family.
Starlight was usually fenced in the pasture or in the barn and couldn’t get into as much trouble as Daisy but he always tried to open the door of the house by biting the door knob either before or after the kids had ridden him. Once he actually managed to turn the handle and open the door, much to every ones’ delight. However we made sure he didn’t pull that stunt again because it was not easy dragging him out. That pony had a mind of his own.
Now as bratty as the pony and goat were, old Moonlight was a gentle push over, who let toddlers run under him, three-year old children feed him carrots and two or three little people sit on him,all at the same time. Through the entire ordeal, Moonlight barely flinched.Once he was plaintively looking through the window. I let him step into the kitchen to eat a carrot. He passively followed us out afterwards.
I like to think that The Spirit flowed from our home into the land and swirled around our animals. Many farmers were startled at the sight of our cat curled up beside our hunting dog. Several farmers commented that they had never seen anything like it. Perhaps there was a bit of heaven on earth on our hobby farm and natural enemies became friends.