Wednesday, January 09, 2008


The other weekend, Ben and I set out on a walk. This was a momentous occasion. Ben's idea of exercise revolves around changing oil, mowing the lawn and scuttling around the house cleaning things. My idea of exercises involves panting on a treadmill or prancing around the neighborhood on a cool morning. The fact that I was able to pry Ben off his computer to wonder around the neighborhood on a sunny afternoon was a miracle.

We wandered to the subdivision behind ours and explored the empty fields. Our subdivision backs up to farm roads and older homes with horses and livestock. One of the main reasons I chose our house was that there were horses down the road (Priorities, people.)

At first, there wasn't anything too exciting. A tall chain link fixed intertwined with barbed wire, cute little birds that hopped across the ground, lots of dust and junk people had dumped out there. We were walking along the edge of the fence about to turn back when I heard it. Stopping in my tracks, I craned my ear to the right.

"Did you hear that?" I asked Ben, who was chattering on about the mulch piles behind the fence.

"Probably some kid," Ben dismissed. The tiny bleat grew a little louder. Barreling down towards the slope near the sound, I howled, "It's a cow! Hello cows!"

I reached the fence and hopped excitedly. They weren't cows. They were goats!

"Hello, goats!" I called ecstatically. "How are you?"

The goats stared at me and continued to gnaw on whatever they were chewing. Ben peered through the fence. "Are they eating cans?" he asked hopefully.

"Not yet,"I said confidently. "Besides, goats don't eat cans. They eat the paper off them." I had become a goat expert in the 30 seconds I'd been around them.

Ben rolled his eyes and pointed. "Are those ponies?" he asked. Looking where his finger was, I beamed and hopped up in down.

"Donkeys!" I shrieked. "They're donkeys!"

"Oh," Ben replied mildly.

"Hello donkeys!" I bellowed. "How are you?"

The donkeys looked at me suspiciously. They wandered closer. I nearly peed myself in excitement.

"Hello!!!" I cried cheerfully, wishing I could climb over the fence and pet them. The donkeys got as close as the thorny bushes wrapped around the fence would allow, staring at us curiously. I hopped and cheered and called out, "Hello donkeys!" repeatedly. Ben just grinned.

"Let's head back," he said.

"I need to feed the donkeys," I said, planting my feet into the grass.

"We don't have anything to feed the donkeys," Ben pointed out.

"Oh." I was stumped.

"We'll feed them next time," Ben promised, trying to steer me away from the donkeys. I waved frantically at them. "Byyyeee donkies! Byyyeee goats! We'll come back and feed you!"

"What do donkeys eat?" Ben asked. "Bread?"

"Sure," I nodded. I was an expert on donkeys. "And carrots. And apples."

"They sure are cute," Ben said, grinning as we headed back to the sidewalk. "Who knew there were donkeys right behind our house?"

Now that I know, I'm going back. A lot. And I'm taking bread with me!