Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Rabbitat and Other Animals The Twins Have Seen

Saturday we got our sniffly twins some fresh (sort of) air and introduced them to the animals of Maplewood Farm. Cheryl decided to take us around the farm counter-clockwise so as to make the apex of their visit their opportunity to harrass pet and feed the bunnies in the Rabbitat, like their older siblings did so long ago with Attie Gail.

When you enter the farm you first see the Shetland Ponies and then a couple of Vietnamese Pot-bellied pigs. Since everyone knows what pigs and ponies look like, we won't bore you with pictures of them.

In addition to this being the twins' first visit, we also for the first time made the older M's stand and read the rules of the farm posted next to the Shetland Ponies before we proceeded too far beyond the entrance:

- No loud noises, which may frighten or startle the animals
- No running or chasing the animals
- Yes to feeding the bunnies and some of the birds
- No to feeding any other animals
- Etc.

By the way, we saw quite a few children (and parents of same!) ignoring these regulations during our visit. It bothered our kids to see that other kids apparently got away with these violations, but they behaved themselves anyhow.

The kids were fascinated by the talking macaw which greeted them with a, "Hello!" They weren't quite as interested in the Barbary Doves which were next. These are apparently also known as Ring-necked Turtle Doves. They are related to the doves in the Bible.

We walked all the way around the zoo and stopped to visit with some ducks. The ducks wandered off after figuring out that the kids didn't have any bread or seeds. I for one am glad they did as crowds of frenzied ducks can be every bit as intimidating as piranhas.

The visit in the dwarft goat enclosure wasn't quite as successful. Megan is in that fun and exciting toddler phase where she tries to protest any instruction by sitting down and pouting. This doesn't work when you're dodging goat pellets everywhere. Cheryl pretty much did the equivalent of 50 or so prone chest-curls with a fussy 35 lb weight. It didn't help either when Michael took a tumble and landed on his side in the 'dirt'.

After washing up with soap and water at the sinks, we had a picnic lunch and then went back to see more animals. We saw a peacock showing off and also an albino male. This is the 3rd or 4th albino I've seen, so I guess they're not as rare as I thought. It's that or we have some kind of weird concentration of them here in the Pacific Northwest. Thinking about it now, I guess I ought not to be surprised seeing as we get so little sun, who would see the colours anyhow?

It was when we got to the rabbit enclosure that things went a little crazy and I'm glad we made it the last thing we did. Maribeth has always been more low-key than Megan, but even she got positively excited following the bunnies around. They tolerated her petting them, but lolopped off after a minute or two. Megan on the other hand squealed with delight and bounced around from corner to corner grabbing all the carrots she could hold and trying to feed them to every rabbit she saw. I tried to get pictures, but with all the kids and rabbits everywhere, it was all I could to to just keep up with her. After a few minutes I convinced the older M's to come out and abandoned the twins to their mother.

Of course there were a few more animals that we went to see after that, but the twins weren't going to get excited about much now that they had petted the bunnies.


Sunny said...

In spite of a little goat poop, that sounds like a fun day. Were there any baby lambs? Do you ever wonder if the littlest ones will actually remember this day, or just think they do from hearing about it and seeing the pictures in the future. Right,either way is good.

Mama Bird said...

Ahhh, now I understand what Megan was trying to say when she was chattering so excitedly on the phone about "wabbit" and "cawwot".

What fun!