While this Easter season finds most families searching out fuzzy, yellow chicks or long-eared rabbits, we've opted for a tribble.*
Serious discussion regarding new animals to our Homestead began several months ago. My daughter has been championing for a horse for the past six years, but my son would prefer a squirrel. My husband, Hank, tends to lean towards the more exotic fish and reptiles. I have always maintained furry and cuddly as my highest priorities (and yes, sheep qualify). So imagine my surprise when Hank walked through the door last night with this little guy, quietly nestled in the crook of his arm. "I went to the pet store looking for a beta!" were the first words out of his mouth.
|This was the immediate response.|
The only bonafide farm animal that is noticeably lacking on our Homestead is, in fact, a horse. And Hank turns into a big softee whenever it comes to our daughter. So naturally, the animal talk revolved mostly around the how and when of getting a horse. Hank has been bombarding my inbox with emails linking me back to craigslist posts for horses, ponies and even miniature donkeys. But now I realize that it was the classic bait and switch. Slowly I was bracing for the large-scale commitment of a horse which made my acceptance of this small, unassuming guinea pig almost a guarantee.
Admittedly Mr. Tribble, as he's been named, does meet my requirements of fuzzy and cuddly. He's quiet and stays put. Perhaps most importantly he's distracting my daughter from the whole horse conundrum. I've been okay with taking on all sorts of farm animals over the years (chickens, sheep, ducks, turkeys, geese, steers, pigs), but horses are intimidating because I have no experience with them whatsoever. Intimidating and expensive. And they live forever!
So perhaps I can stall on the horse for a few months months yet. Shouldn't we wait at least until the pastures come in? And maybe after lambing? And after shearing (I could keep up this line of defense forever)? In the meantime, the kids are thrilled with Mr. Tribble. They were even up early before school to pet and feed him. Boy, do they feed him! So Hank did good, even if it was a complete surprise. I suppose it's only fair considering how many kittens I've brought home without consulting him first.
* And in case you're not a Star Trek fan, a tribble is a faceless, fuzzball alien critter from a classic episode entitle "The Trouble with Tribbles."