Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Petting Zoo

Wellwood Orchards Petting Zoo Inhabitants (Source)
As I had mentioned on Monday (here), the Missus Herself and Your's Truly traveled up to the ancestral lands in New Hampshire and Vermont over the Columbus Day weekend. It was good to see my Mom and Kid Brother One (and his wife) and Kid Brother Two (The Old Vermonter, Mrs Old Vermonter and The Musician, respectively) and we had fun. One of the things I had mentioned in that post was the petting zoo.

Yes. The petting zoo.

Before you think that I've gone all soft and squishy and turn the page (so to speak). Stand by, belay that thought and hold your position. There is method to this madness. (I think.)

First of all, I am sick (verily to death) of all the unmitigated bull crap that is on display in our nation's capital. I am tired of reading about, hearing about and (occasionally) writing about the pack of slobbering maroons, ne'er-do-wells and ee-jits which comprise the current political classes.

Yup, sick of them I am. So I wanted to get back to my forté, that is being witty and charming. No, seriously.

So here is my story of our trip to the petting zoo at Wellwood Orchard in the lovely Green Mountain State, Vermont.

The outing to the orchard was my Mom's idea. As you may (or may not) recall from Monday's post, on Saturday we went to the Apple Festival. Which, as it turns out, was nearly totally devoid of actual apples. Lots of stuff made from apples, but no actual apples. As seen hanging from apple trees.

So what better place to get those than at an orchard? So that's what we did on Sunday.

Now on the way there (take note of this next bit) in The Musician's brand new car, I was expecting apple trees and perhaps a store selling apple stuff. I was correct in that assumption.

But wait, there's more!

The store sold all sorts of craft-type-stuff, apple stuff (as expected) also a fair amount of maple syrup and it's associated by-products (think maple sugar). Which is to be expected. After all, it is in Vermont.

Now near the store was the petting zoo I keep mentioning. A fenced in enclosure with lots of goats, sheep, chickens (of various types), rabbits
 (of various types), peafowl, guinea hens and a couple of golden pheasants. The latter we had to Google to figure out what they were. Very pretty birds they are.

Golden (or Chinese) Pheasant

All that aside, it was The Musician, I believe, who first broached the idea of actually going inside the fenced in enclosure for to interact with the denizens of that place.

Mom seconded the motion and (to my surprise) The Missus Herself also expressed a desire to experience the petting zoo first hand. As it was still early in the day and I had less than a full load of caffeine on board I had mixed feelings about the foray into the petting zoo. A veritable cornucopia of young farm animals, young humans and young farm animal excrement.

Yup. Excrement.

That's what surprised me about 
The Missus Herself wanting to go inside. She normally is not real keen about getting dung of any kind on the bottoms of her footwear. And here was a variety of dung, in rather abundant quantities I must say. (Though less than is currently present in the halls of power down in DC. But I don't want to go there. No, not at all.)

When I pointed out to 
The Missus Herself the amount (and variety) of barnyard crap spread liberally around the premises, she hesitated, but just for a moment. Then she said, "I can clean my shoes off afterward!" And she pressed on to see the beasties. (I think she's trying to maintain her "street cred" as a grandmother. Our grandchildren do like a good petting zoo!)

She was wonderfully amused when she discovered that there were fodder-dispensing devices strategically located throughout the area. For a quarter one could feed the animals.

But don't ever let anyone tell you that animals are stupid. They're not. For 
The Missus Herself discovered, as soon as she reached for her purse, that the goats, calves and sheep all knew what those fodder-dispensing devices were for and what reaching for a purse signified. For no sooner had she reached into her purse than she was inundated by a variety of goats. One in particular who managed to position himself in such a way as to preclude access to the other goats.

It was most amusing watching 
The Missus Herself attempt to explain to this goat why he should move so that the other, smaller and younger, goats could also dine on the just dispensed fodder. Epic fail.

She moved to another location while The Musician distracted the billy goat. There she found that a rather large male sheep knew the same tactic of positioning himself to block access to the fodder dispensing device. It's frustrated she was (
The Missus Herself that is) when she found herself thwarted at every turn by these creatures. Of course, she had to point out that males of any species could be (and often are) a pain in the a$$!

So we finished our visit with the animals and departed the enclosure. Where I pointed out to The Musician the amount of crap he had on his brand new shoes. And did he really want to get into his brand new car with his footwear in that condition?

Before panic could set in, I pointed out that the management of this fine petting establishment had conveniently placed brushes and the like to rid one's footwear of the byproduct of those fodder dispensing devices. Also soap and water for to scrub the hands was also available.

We departed the orchard sans animal poop, with a goodly stock of actual apples and such, and then had a very pleasant drive through the Vermont countryside. Where the foliage (though somewhat diminished) is still rather magnificent.

The excursion ended with coffee and then (back at Mom's house) with football and baseball. It was a good day.

The opinion of the goats and sheep who didn't get near the fodder dispensing devices is unknown. But at least one goat and one sheep had a very good day.

And no automobile carpets were soiled (or otherwise damaged) during this epic voyage.

Ah, Vermont.


  1. I was gonna say sumthin' about grandparents' street cred but then I realized I know nothing about THAT. And then I was gonna ask ya if you were Witty and Charming Part I, or Part II? But you had to be Part I, seein' as how it was early in the day. Are ya confused about my last? Don't be.

    Good post. I HATE petting zoos.

    1. Great site. (Yup, Part I. It was very early!)

  2. Clearly this blogpost is a metaphor for the situation in our country today. The sheep and goat represent the moochers in America, much like the Walmart mob during the EBT incident. All me, me, me. While the constant reference to excrement represents what passes for careful consideration of Policy in our Government today. Specifically Horse, Bull and Chicken Fecal Matter.

    As Such, I believe our humble scribe is writing a satire worth of Jonathan Swift.

    1. I won't claim that it's a metaphor, but it could be, now that you mention it.

      I do like the way you see things.

  3. I totally missed that, but I believe juvat is on to something!

    1. Whoa, Joe! Don't encourage me. I might start thinking I know what I'm doing here.

  4. Brings back chuckles... I took my grandson to one and he had the same problem, except the goat butted him and put him on 'his' butt when he tried to give the other goats a chance... :-)

  5. Great photo of the calf and piglet enjoying a nap together. Goats are extremely underrated. Fairly intelligent, provide us with food and clothing options, and just plain fun to look into the odd eyes of them (unless, I suppose, the reason you're looking into the eyes is because one is ready to come at you with intent to butt.)

    1. I do like that picture. (Which is ten years old! Wow...)

      Goats are pretty cool animals and vastly underrated.


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