Sweet Babou and I took the girls to a local farm this weekend for the express purpose of buying pumpkins. We intended to buy a couple of big pumpkins to carve into Jack-o-lanterns with appropriately scary/happy faces, and a smattering of pie pumpkins to make yummy fall recipes with. With the help of our daughters, who preformed such tasks as sitting on pumpkins to test for “bigness” and choosing “beautiful” pie pumpkins for best taste, our gourd-seeking goals were accomplished.
There was also a small petting zoo in the barn, containing a pen full of friendly goats and chickens, a patient horse, an adorable Shetland pony, a skeptical seeming donkey, and a couple of very young pigs. There was a pack of friendly farm dogs, as well as a bunch of barn cats, who did NOT want to be pawed by over-excited little Fokkers and could run like the wind. Of course, one of the cats sat just out of range on a hay bale and ate a freshly caught and dismembered mouse, much to the delight of the children and the slight nausea of the adults. The farm family thoughtfully provided a barrel of hand sanitizer, so petting the animals was less likely to become an “e-coli for everyone!” event. Moreover, the farmer got out one of the little pigs, and the Fokkerlings patted porkers to their hearts content.
The crowing success of the day was the hay ride. It meandered through a field and over a stream and over another field and back through the stream to the barn where it started. The girls LOVE hay rides. Sweet Babou and I also love hay rides, and this one was extra special because we had some friends from Ireland with us and they called the stream a “river”, causing us to chortle and mock the inadequacy of the Irish “river”. However, the Irish pointed out they have fewer murder victims floating in their rivers, so fair play to them.
On Sunday we awoke to find that the Fokkerlings had arranged the pumpkins into a “family”, including a mommy pumpkin, a daddy pumpkin, and their baby pumpkins. Tonight we are eating one of the “babies”. I’ll let you know how that goes.