Pets with Personality
From the Beginning
Growing up on a farm lends itself to gaining some unusual "pets" among the farm animals. One such critter entered our family's life from the beginning. Literally, my sister and I found an abandoned nest of duck eggs and decided to try to hatch them. We raised chickens so we had a heat lamp and an empty corner of the brooder coop (small building where you hatch eggs/keep baby chicks). Over the years we found other bird eggs and never had any success, but we ended up hatching one duckling that spring.
He started out as a cute little puff ball, and grew into a white feathered duckling. We named him Ludicrous. I don't remember why. Maybe because he looked a little ludricous - a duck walking around with the baby chickens.
Our young duckling outgrew his adoptive siblings and we moved him outside in a little pen with a wading pool. Ludicrous liked playing in the water of course. He also liked to follow us for walks.
Thought He Was a Dog!
That duck was quite the character waddling after us around the yard. He would come to us when we called his name or quacked for him. If we sat down in the shade, Ludicrous would sit right down by us and watch whatever we were doing. We really believed that he thought he was a dog. In fact, he even liked eating dog food!
Boo was an Ayershire bull. He was a 4-H calf for my son. He followed him around and loved attention. He was also a great escape artist. More than once we'd wake up to his face looking in our bedroom window!
Finally, we decided it was time to sell him. We called a young farmer who we would pay to trailer him to the auction. I remember calling the farmer to set up the time, and he asked me who was going to be there to help.. I told him I was and my son. With doubt in his voice he hesitantly asked me, how old is your son? I said 12. He hesitantly asked me, how much does the bull weigh? Oh, maybe 1200 pounds.
I assured him it would be fine, but I could tell when he drove in with the trailer that he was nervous. He saw how big the bull was and how little my son and I were. I just smiled and said just open the door, my son will get him in. And Boo just walked right into the trailer like a puppy behind my son and the young farmer just shook his head in disbelief. He said that he would never have believed it if he hadn't seen it with his own eyes. Boo was one of a kind.
Another personality that brought much joy to childhood memories had a bandit face and feet that swiveled and an unmistakable chortle. Raz, the racoon, was "rescued" and bottle fed and cuddled and loved dearly. He also would follow you wherever you went and would come when you called. Raz was a great tree climber and was just so much fun to watch. He eventually kept wandering farther away and one day decided to be on his own.
Growing Up on a Farm
I hope you enjoyed meeting a few of our "pets with personality". They each taught a lesson while we enjoyed their antics and celebrated their spirit, never knowing for sure when they might fly away, get sold, get eaten, or simply run off to a new adventure. Sometimes, that's just how "pets" were, growing up on a farm.