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Why I Love Animals

When I was very small, I lived with my two sisters (Amanda, the younger, and Ginny Rose, the older), my mom and dad, and a menagerie of animals in a blue and white house trailer over the hill and across the dirt road from my Grandma and Grandpa. Feels Like Home

Amanda and I are only 13 months apart, so I don't remember a time when she wasn't around.

It was a simple life, and I remember being a happy kid.

At our house, we had a big black jumpy dog named Thunder and a smaller lovey puppy named Spot. Spot was white with brown and black patches.

Spot was born at my grandma's house, though I don't remember his mother or any of the other puppies from his litter.

Spot was the runt, and Amanda and I loved him at first sight. We snuck him home every chance we got. If we thought no one was looking, we'd tuck him into a pocket or a bag and bring him home.

Eventually, he stayed with us for good. Except when he went back to my Grandma's on his own, to get a snack and visit with the residents.

We also had eight ducks – three mallards (the small brown ones that you see in the wild), four Pekins (plump white farm ducks), and a Muscovy (a white duck with a red face and beak).  We raised the mallards and pekins from just-hatched ducklings, but the Muscovy chose us as she passed through at some point.

I'm not sure if it was the plentiful food or the blue kiddie pool filled with water and duck poop, but she liked things at our place. She flew in and never left.

Amanda and I loved our duckies, and we spent many hours chasing them.

Out of love.

Except we didn't chase the Muscovy; she didn't like it, and she let us know. She was a nippy bird.

We wanted to pet those ducks and play with them like we played with puppies and kittens. The ducks didn't think that was a good idea, and they'd quack and run away every time. I don't remember ever catching one.

In addition to the dogs and the ducks, we always had a bunch of cats. It started with Tom Cat, a sleek black male (what else?). One day, he came home with Mumma Cat, a small female who I presume was already pregnant. Like the muscovy, Mumma Cat never left once she arrived.

I don't remember all of the kittens' names, but Mumma Cat had three. My favorite was Patches, a little white kitten with black and brown splotches. She looked a lot like our puppy, Spot.

Despite the fact that we had cats and dogs inside and outside our house, we couldn't keep mice out of our trailer.

The kitchen, especially, was constantly inhabited by field mice.

I'm sure my parents used spring traps to get rid of the mice. I don't know how else they would have dealt with the problem.

Amanda had a different solution. She was enamored by the furry field mice. She'd put a dollop of peanut butter in the bottom of a very deep green bowl and go to bed. In the morning, a mouse would have crawled into the bowl to get a snack, but found himself unable to climb or jump out.

When she caught a mouse in her peanut butter bowl, she'd keep it in her pocket. I remember her holding and petting a tiny field mouse often, rarely getting bitten but often getting peed on.

She did the same thing with snakes that she found outside.

Amanda befriended so many mice that Santa Clause put one of those real fur cat toys in her Christmas stocking one year. She carried it around for years, even though its hair eventually fell out.

I bet she still has that old, bald mouse.



The second assignment for Mommy's Piggy Tales was to write about your pre-school life. I have so many stories to tell, but this was where my heart went first.

© 2010 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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7 thoughts on “Why I Love Animals”

  1. Okay I was feeling all warm and fuzzy about your memories of the dogs, cats, ducks and birds but the mice? No thank you! Ah! They give me the creepy crawly chills. How fun to be able to play with so many of God’s creatures though!

  2. A few years ago, our house was taken over by mice. It was bad. We put out the “humane” traps that (like the peanut butter bowl) mice can get in but they can’t get out. We used peanut butter and oatmeal (what had enticed them in the first place). One night, a mouse went in the trap and in the morning, she gave birth to a whole litter of baby mice. My kids and even my husband were so enamored by the teeny mice that they almost convinced me to keep them in a cage.

    We didn’t. 🙂

  3. I loved reading about all of the animals and I thought that I had a bunch of comments to make about them until I read your last line. Now all I can think is, “haha, old, bald mouse, haha”. For some reason that just cracked me up…AND made me curious. So you have to ask your sister whether or not she still has her “old, bald mouse”…inquiring, nosy, minds of strangers want to know!

  4. Well, my “trap” was actually a big gallon butternut colored Tupperware salad bowl and I only was only bitten once and that was because I was holding a mouse while eating my dinner and feeding him and he missed the food. Yes, I still have my old, bald mouse. He is called mousy 🙂 Truth be told, I had multiple over the years and I could make then all “run” through my fingers, but he was always the best and my favorite. He still sits on my bookcase with the others. He even went to college with me and sat on my stereo. I think my parents got him and all the others so I would quit picking up and wanting to keep the real ones…That didn’t really work. I even scared one of my elderly elementary teachers by accident one time. He was my pal when we moved a lot and he comforted me like most kids have teddy bears. They were way too boring for me and all animals to this day seem to gravitate toward me anyway. My current neighbor’s dog Buddy even knows my car and awaits for me to come pet him and has from the day they brought him home from the humane society. Also probably why I have 5 cats now.

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