This morning I went head to head with two of my biggest fears: dead things and spiders. The dead thing was a rat, discovered under a tarp while I was helping to renovate the play yard at Lucy’s school. The spider was small but ominous-looking, and I cringed and silently screamed as I moved it out of the immediate area with a shovel (good thing I used the shovel, as I found out later it was a black widow). Now I’m home, over-washing my hands, trying to stomach lunch and forget about every creepy-crawly disease-carrying creature I have come into contact with today.
Writing this post comes at an opportune time because I needed to remind myself that not all animals make my skin crawl. This is one of the reasons why I’m most comfortable in the city—there are minimal bugs, rodents, and general pests to deal with in this wet metropolis. But once in a while, in small doses, I like to kick off my heels (if I wore heels), strap on some boots and tread (lightly, avoiding cow pies and snakes) into the country. Last weekend was our final opportunity to experience the pungent glory of the Evergreen State Fair, so Lucy, Dave, some friends and I fearlessly entered the land of fried Twinkies and live bacon.
Normally, this would have been a food post. Normally I would have ordered that Krispy Kreme chicken sandwich and deep fried Oreos and reported back. But sadly, I’m stuck in week 12 of everything-makes-me-want-to-hurl. Everything except a corndog. For some unholy reason, that sounded delicious. So I got one. I took one bite. And then my daughter snatched it from my hands and gobbled the whole thing with such gusto that I couldn’t have stopped her if I tried. It was like a pit bull tasting a steak for the first time.
She may have a future in competitive hot dog eating contests, that girl.
The idea of fair cuisine always sounds more appealing than it actually is, anyway. That cotton candy sounds like a brilliant idea at first, but after two rounds on the Tilt-a-Whirl you’ll end up regretting it.
But onto more important (and cuter) things. We saw an array of adorable animals at the fair, starting with pygmy goats. I don’t know if there is any cuter miniature animal than a pygmy goat. They fight like toddlers, gallop like (pygmy) horses, and butt heads like bulls. If every spider in the country was a pygmy goat, I’d move in a heartbeat.
Ducks. I’m not a fan of fowl in general (except for eating), but this little white guy was so fluffy I could have taken him home.
Pigs. Baby pigs. Well, maybe adolescent pigs—I don’t know what the protocol for pig age is. But those little pink ears with their fuzzy hair and black spots just made my heart give way.
More pigs. Big pigs. I believe this gal was 300 pounds. I love how it looks like they’re smiling when they sleep.
Pig pile. A really really big, bone-crushing pig pile.
And a teeny tiny pig pile. These baby pigs were about 10 days old. I wanted to cuddle them but the sign assured me that if I tried, their 400 pound mommy pig would crush me like a fly.
Baaah Marley. Dave’s joke, not mine.
Pygmy Goat Gruff. I couldn’t decide if he wanted to bite me or if he was smiling. Maybe both.
And last but not least, the rare and majestic Lucy riding an elephant. Seems as though she’s a natural at riding pachyderms, too. Maybe my daughter is destined to be a carny.
We had a fun time at the fair, mingling with the country folk, visiting with the animals, admiring the fattening fried treats. But in the end, I was glad to return to the city. Had I known a dead rat and a black widow were awaiting me a few days later, maybe I would have stayed with the pigs and goats. I suppose you can’t win them all. But you can come prepared with a long shovel and lots and lots of hand sanitizer.