Thursday, March 21, 2013

Barnyard Exposure aka Games Farm Kids Play That Others Don't

One special thing about growing up on a farm is that you are exposed to a lot that most people in less rural areas don’t get the pleasure of experiencing.

Take for example the classic barnyard game of, “Find the mummified animal in the barn loft!” Maybe you want a rousing round of "Mommy what are those two horses doing?" Or perhaps you want to play “What did the dog drag into the yard now?”

Honestly, I don’t know how kids understand biological sciences without these great teaching experiences. There is nothing like tripping over the crusty remains of a raccoon or possum to teach you about the important part oxygen and heat play in decomposition. And there is nothing like the combination of spring on a farm and tripping over a mystery skull to learn about anatomy, and for bonus points figure out what animal the bones came from. Deer? Cow? What kind of femur is that anyway?

I. Am. So. Lucky. <- trace amounts of sarcasm mixed with actual gratitude

The really strange thing is that growing up with this you become used to it. It doesn’t seem strange. You walk around the dog knawing on some sort of hide. You learn to not panic seeing a dried snake baled into the straw. I  honestly never thought anything of it until I brought my city born and raised best friend and roommate home with me for the first time about six years ago.

I will never forget the look of horror on her face the first time she stepped out of the car.

J, horrified: “Lauren, what is that?”  The look of revulsion in her eyes startled me. I followed her pointing finger expecting to see a decapitated kitten, or something similarly tragic. Instead I saw nothing out of the ordinary.

Me, blasé: “Oh, that? That’s a spine. Looks like a deer I think. Come on in.”

Honestly, it is a miracle that she ever came back.

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