Since Abbie was born, we've been reading her stories and talking about various animals - ducks, sheep, pigs, goats, horses, etc. And we've been having fun teaching her the sounds that various animals make. It's wonderful how well she's remembered them and can name animals from photos and movies as well as imitate them.
However, she's only had limited exposure to live animals. Mostly the little ponies in Middleburg, kitties behind the glass at the local PetSmart, and of course Shelby.
A local farm had a "kids day" last Saturday. The weather was perfect and so we packed up and headed out, excited that Abbie would finally get the chance to see and touch many of the animals she'd learned about.
As soon as we got there, her eyes lit up. She began pointing to the different animals, jumping up and down, and shouting their names: "COWS! HORSEY! DUCKY!" She wanted to touch and pet each one. Fortunately, many of the animals were used to people handling them, and they'd come right up to her. She'd reach out her little hand and pet them - "Nice... nice..." she'd say.
One of the highlights for her, though, seemed to be when we put her on the giant tractor. Once she sat down in the big, ripped, vinyl seat, she began twisting the giant steering wheel. She had a blast - so much that when we finally lifted her down, she put up a terrible fuss. She was not happy having to leave the thing. For as much as she wanted to "drive" the tractor, I thought we could put her to work on the farm.
Finally, especially after seeing her friend William, she calmed down enough to see the rest of the farm. She and William had a fun showing each other what they'd found, especially when we wandered into the big barn with the baby goats. One of the men there told Abbie that the baby goats were born in February, so they were only 2 months old. She was amazed at these little animals whom she towered over - the only animals there smaller than she.
All in all, I can't tell who had more fun - Abbie seeing all the animals, or us watching her. By the time we left she was exhausted, but I know she thought about the farm a lot after that. She was mooing in her sleep that night!! We're hoping we can take her back there again to see all of her animal friends.