This morning I told Alice there was going to be a petting zoo at the East Nashville Farmer's Market thingie. I went on to mention that it would be fun for the kids and that I planned on getting some pictures of critters to use as models for drawing.
First she snorted and then she said that if she wanted Evan and Ryan to track animal poop in the house, she could take them to her parents' farm in Franklin, where her mother could get the satisfaction of exacting revenge for her own overly girl nature by making darned sure no poop in the field went unsquished before they were sent home.
I argued that they could pet them from outside of the pen, which was how I planned to take pictures.
"Besides," she said, "You won't be able to get one picture without someone's tot wandering into the shot."
So very true. My attempt at getting a picture of the bigger animals as they emerged from the trailer was blocked by an irate, bespectacled mother who stood in front of my camera and glared at me like an ostrich who has just caught a meerkat stealing one of her eggs.
As the animals skittered over to the farmer while I was trying to snap, my mother made the observation that I was going to have to suck it up and go into the pen. I was right on the cusp of agreeing with her when the miniature donkey stopped, looked very pensive and then released nine gallons of urine into the middle of the pen. A minute later, a small boy gleefully splashed through it. No. Just...no. Further attempts were scuttled by a wee, cute girl who kept jumping in front of me and shouting, "Hi!". Oy.
Honestly, I wouldn't blame any parent for being concerned when a stranger is nearby snapping pictures. What had me thinking "wha...?" was the parent who accosted us on the way back to the car. I figured she was upset and quite rightfully protective of whichever child was hers. I explained that I was trying to get pictures of the animals, particularly the pig and the chickens for an art project and then she demanded to know why I didn't like children.
You win, Alice.
copyright 2009 jas faulkner