Marin has liked animals ever since she was just a few months old. I know, she still isn’t even quite a year yet, but she has liked them for well over half her life!
First it started with Lorax the dog. She would touch his shoulder and head tentatively and with some reservation despite her excitement. Another early animal fascination was the squirrels that she could watch running atop the garden fence when her dad would prop her up against the back of the couch with pillows and cushions.
Eventually she progressed to pulling herself up to a standing position all by herself to watch the squirrels, and most recently crawling over to Lorax while he is eating where she then tries to steal his food.
When we would take her for walks she would follow the flights of birds and tell us all about the dogs she could see. We would stop so she could watch a squirrel climb through the trees and chitter at her. She especially likes trying to get near our neighbour’s cat Toula, but felines will be felines and this one won’t let a baby get too close.
Last week upon arriving in Colorado, my younger siblings took Marin and I across a creek and through a field to a neighbouring plot of grassy land where three miniature ponies, a donkey and a miniature mule reside. We gathered lush grass on the way, which the mule greedily gobbled up while Marin watched carefully, not wanting to get too close to it, but yet fascinated. After maybe 10 or 15 minutes she eventually did reach out and touch the mule’s nose, then pull back and watch as the mule’s lips wriggled and pulled grass up out of the ground.
In the field beside the ponies there are a bunch of cows which Marin brings my attention to every time she sees them. Even from up in camp, she spots them on the far hill and touches my face, trying to make me look at the cows.
So…. last night while most of the kids were in town swimming and having showers, I took Marin across the creek to go visit the animals without distraction from the kids. First we pulled up grass along the creek, then called the ponies and mule over. This time, it didn’t take Marin long at all to get over her nervousness of such large animals. She was touching the mule’s cheek and I drew the line at her trying to pick it’s nose.
When all the grass was eaten up by the mule and it lost interest in us, we wandered over to the cows where I found out Marin LOVES cows! She got so excited her arms and legs were just a flapping and she squealed with joy. The cows started, turning to stare at us, not quite sure what to make of us. It didn’t dapped Marin’s excitement at all. She just kept squealing and flapping her arms only taking short breaks to see if she was getting any reaction from them.