Somewhere, there is a 10 year old girl on a farm/ranch. Brown hair, blue or brown eyes, a little bit tall for her age. She likes to sleep in, go out to eat at restaurants, wear cute clothes that she doesn’t like to get dirty, and brushes her hair more than a few times a week. She probably doesn’t like farm animals all that much and gets freaked if a horse or cow looks sideways at her. She is an anomaly in the community and people marvel that such a strange girl comes from such hardy farm stock.
If you know of a girl like this, or have one in your midst, email me. I think our daughters were switched at birth and I have your real child.
Brooke was supposed to be born on a farm/ranch (what is the difference?!). She wakes up before dawn, antsy to get outside and DO something. If we had eggs to collect or cows to milk she would happily do that. Instead, she moons around my bed, looking at me and waiting for her lazy mom to wake up. Actually, now she goes in to watch Animal Planet and live a vicarious life through other people who live in Texas.
Horses are her passion, and if she could ride all day to wrangle up cattle she’d be in heaven. Last summer I enrolled her in a ‘horse camp’ where I paid an obscene amount of money so Brooke could hang out at a farm all day and do ‘horse work’. I realized they were having her do all the dirty work like mucking the stalls, filling the troughs, redistributing hay, and brushing the horses. My first thought was…’Shouldn’t they be paying HER rather than the other way around?’ followed quickly by my second thought which was, “I’ve never seen Brooke happier”. She was surrounded by horses, farm dogs, chickens, pigs, and cute little lambs; working her tail off from sun up till sun down without a complaint. It was one of the best weeks of her life.
She also is an explorer. It’s hard to have an idealic ‘Daniel Boone’ upbringing when you only live on 1/4 of an acre, in the middle of a subdivision. However, she makes the best of it and has found an oasis of nature in a creek that runs on the outskirts of the houses here. I think that if we actually lived on some land, Brooke would hitch up her horse, pack a sleeping bag and ride off to explore the far corners. I probably would only see her again when she ran out of food.
When I started bawling in “March of the Penguins” because all those penguin babies were being picked off by the seagulls, it was Brooke who comforted me by explaining that “that’s just the way of nature”. When I walked blindly through a sidewalk full of earthworms that had become stranded in the sun after a downpour, it was Brooke who stopped long enough to pick each one up and place it gently in the grass. “They are important to the energy cycle, Mom! They may be little, but they do a lot!” she gently scolded me.
So, you see, she obviously is not my child. I mean, I think cows are adorable and they make me all melty inside, but that’s only when I’m standing on the other side of a fence from them. I am horribly allergic to most animals, and really REALLY like to sleep in. If you have a child that fits that description, then we may need to make a trade.
Filed under: The Naturalist |