Wannabe Farm Girl

Published on Sunday 17th October 2010 by DJ Kirkby

Feeding the chicks age 12

I grew up on a small holding with several rabbits, chickens, ducks and goats.  I loved taking care of the animals and being able to spend quiet time holding them and watching them go about their lives.  I often feel sorry for N3S that, although we have two cats, two (wild) hedgehogs and a tortoise, he can’t experience caring for animals like I did as a child because we live on the outskirts of a city.

A quiet moment with one of our goats

Luckily we are able to enjoy the Mill Cottage Farm Experience a few times each year. They came to Portsmouth yesterday and N3S and I showed up to see what treats they had planned for the visitors this time.

The usual animals were there: turkeys, ducks, chickens, goats, pigs, sheep rabbits and guinea pigs.  Usually I just watch N3S smooth the animals but this time I decided to indulge in some guinea pig cuddling.  I held the tiniest guinea pig, no bigger than my hand, and she melted my heart as she snuggled down  for a long stay.  I finally put her back in the pen over 30 minutes later.  Reluctantly, I might add. There is something about spending quiet time with a cuddly animal that seems to magically erase any recent sensory overload.  N3S agrees with me and I wonder if it is the same for all autistic people? What about neurotypical people?  Do you find it relaxing to cuddle an animal?

N3S played with the animals for a bit and then went in to wash his hands and see what was on the cooking table. Last time we were there he made apple cheese cake and this time he made a very tasty peach crumble.  I’m really pleased that I can take N3S along to the MCFE once in a while, he thoroughly enjoys himself every time and I feel less guilty for giving him no option but to be a city boy.

I didn’t take any photos this time because my hands were full of tiny guinea pig but here are a few from when we went in August with N3S, my god children and long suffering best friend.

Grinding corn into flour

Playing in the chicken pen

Making a puppet

11 comments so far

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  • What a wonderful place!!! Looking after animals and just being with them and holding them really does bring so much joy and fulfillment!! I think animals and people are very good for each other. I knew of a guy whose city job was so stressful he found successful therapy volunteering at his animal shelter just keeping kitties company. It’s all good – we – all creatures – are good for each other!

    How great to see you all having such a fab time!! I think NS3 has the best of both worlds – living in the city and access to a working farm! Take care

    • One of the local dog shelters here offers the oppourtunity to walk the dogs but I am too scared too as I know I would fall in love with one and want to bring it home…and my husband is allergic to dogs!

    • It is rather fab but this is the country coming into the city. Very clever really. When N3S goes for his riding lessons we have to drive way out into the country though, and that’s nice too.

  • Great fun and such a treat! What a brilliant place.

    I live in the country so my days out are often in the city centre, but I’m a firm believer in the value of quiet time with animals. They *do* soothe. I can’t imagine watching TV or, um, writing, without a cat on my lap and a dog or two at my feet.:)

    As for guinea pigs, I adore them. Gorgeous!

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