My hero and I are both die hard rednecks. I was raised on a dairy goat farm, he in the Valley in California where livestock and crops still abounded. (Don’t ask me how a redneck could have been born in California. I try not to question the workings of Providence.) So it has been natural for us to accumulate quite a variety of animals. The two dogs and one cat are pretty standard- except for the fact that one dog is a Great Dane. We just like BIG around here. The two ponies aren’t too far out of mainstream- my kids don’t even know how lucky they are. How many kids beg for a pony every Christmas? Even the forty chickens are… well… forty chickens. They scratch, they peck, they lay eggs and fill the freezer on occasion. The chickens get us a little closer to legitimate farm-dom. The thirteen rabbits…since we sold one last week, my hero said “Now we’re really farmers!” But today is an auspicious day. Today were joined by three meat goats; one buck, two does. (That is one boy and two girls, for the uninitiated.) We are inheriting them from a friend, which is how we end up with a lot of our animals.
If we aren’t careful, we will soon move from farm to menagerie. We are already pushing it with the parrot. He was named Chango (Spanish for monkey), because he likes to hang upside down in his cage and cock his head sideways- contemplating. We have dreams of a tropical greenhouse inhabited by chameleons and birds… We love growing things, too. Our pomegranate trees are loaded this year, and we enjoyed peaches and plums from our fruit trees this spring.
Maybe that is why we have so many kids. We are addicted to LIFE. The vast variety of gifts, talents, personalities, abilities- even just in our little family- is mind boggling. The satisfaction of tending our growing things, whether they are plants, animals, or people, and watching them become mature and productive… that satisfaction makes all the struggle worth it. Most days. Some days require sneaking a chocolate from your secret stash in the freezer to really make it worth it.