It is Fatherhood Friday again so stop by Dad Blogs and check out all the posts.
I grew up in an animal loving house. I don't mean a PETA type animal loving house. We hunted deer, duck, squirrel, and rabbit. We consumed our kill. Yes, I have eaten many a squirrel just like Cousin Eddie. Our relationship with animals was more of an appreciation and a knowledge of their habits and environment. I didn't grow up on a farm in the sense that our house was on a farm. I did however spend much of my youth on the family rice farm in southeast Arkansas. My Dad quit farming when I was very young. After that he still helped out around the farm some, but he found other things to do with his time and resources.My Dad raised ducks and geese for a long time. He also raised rabbits for quite a while and dabbled in turkeys and quail. Some of these animals were sold for pets or food, but the whole operation was mainly a hobby. The farm was filled with hunting dogs. There was even a killer tomcat named Dingbat for a while. Basically I grew up on Old MacDonald's farm. I helped dad gather duck eggs and gather ducks. You haven't lived until you have been in a cage trying to catch flying mallards. Snagging them out of the air is quite a thrill. We fed the ducks and raised them. I saw them hatch and grow. Eventually we started a flock of Canada Geese. When our first two eggs hatched the goslings thought my Dad was their mom. They followed him everywhere and even got to take a trip to our house much to my mother's dismay. Dad named them Mutt and Jeff.
All of this led me to love animals. I had volumes of books on the subject. Dad and I watched nature shows on TV a lot. We could name every animal on the planet by sight and many by sound. I hope Braden and I can share that type of interest in animals. I hope we'll spend many hours in the woods together enjoying nature. Of course I hope we can hunt together, but it's also fun just spending time outdoors. Hopefully he will get the same joy I do from watching the squirrels and birds go about their day. Maybe we can share the thrill of seeing a bald eagle soaring over the lake. Braden might not grow up on a farm, but he will grow up in a small town in The Natural State. Wildlife will always be there to enjoy.
This Easter we took the first small step towards learning about animals. Braden got a The Farmer Says See 'n Say. These things have been around forever. I had one when I was a kid. They have changed a little, but the message remains the same. The (insert animal name) says (insert animal sound). I know this alone is not going to make Braden like animals. At least it will introduce him to some barnyard critters. Hopefully he'll get to meet some of these creatures in real life in order to test some of that knowledge for himself. Take a look at this video where he hears a few animal sounds.
That was Braden's first effort at opening a gift. I think he did a good job. He seems intrigued by the see n' say until he hears the horse. Both times that crazy noise seems to confuse him. He looks to mommy for some help. It looks like a trip to the track is in order so Braden can meet some real life horses and straighten this out.