News about the health and beauty of the natural world that sustains us.
Growing up I didn’t just read about animals in books. I lived and played among them, but I didn’t have a farm animal until I was a third grader.
For years I had tagged along with my dad to Orscheln Farm & Home to buy dog food, really only to pet the spring ducks and chicks huddled in the cages. My dad would always holler at me that he was leaving, and I quickly said bye to my little friends.
Then when I was a third grader, my family packed up and moved 15 miles away, to what I called the “Longaway” farm. I knew all the open space meant I could have more animals. I begged to have my own fuzzy duckling. He bought six.
Once they were home, I got the task of making sure they had food, water, straw and a heat lamp. Besides more responsibility, the little ducks added entertainment to my day. All summer I would go down and just sit with them. They climbed on top of my head, ate bugs I caught and took naps in the straw.
Since my duck days, the animals on our farm have diversified with goats, chicken, geese, turkeys, pigs, donkeys and llamas.
Do you remember your first farm animal? If so, tell us about it in the comments section below.
Photo by ISTOCKPHOTO/Eric Isselée