Background Switcher (Hidden)

Small Animal Barn

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Washington County Fair happens over Labor Day weekend. I go every year, no matter how hot, stanky and humid it is. Bill didn't accompany us this year, which is probably a good thing, because you have to really, really want to be there to deal with the stifling heat and smell of fried dough. There is a Felliniesque quality to it that attracts me. I take millions of pictures, while dispensing five-dollar bills and juggling the repeated entreaties of my kids to get to the midway where we can roast our brains on the hot asphalt, waiting in line to ride icky filthy undersized kiddie rides and throw darts in weak arcs at balloons made of titanium so we can "win" a "free" "prize" that costs us $8, is worth about 79 cents, and breaks in the car on the way home. At least they don't have baby green iguanas or red-eared sliders as prizes any more. That made me insane. And don't even talk about the box turtle races, which I protested and brought to a halt several years ago.

I do miss the sleazy house of horror, trampy T-shirt stands and creepy sideshows that accompanied the concession that gave live animal prizes. They had these great hand-painted wooden fronts with giant pythons and parrots, recorded tapes blaring about the giant snake that could eat an entire sheep, and the creepiest carnies. Loved it. But the midway now is all dull as a corncob, without the sparkle of danger and sex, though you couldn't call it sanitized.

I'm there for the chickens and bunnies, cattle and horses that clop smartly around the trotters' racecourse. I'm there for the homemade crafts and giant pumpkins. Mostly for the chickens and bunnies, though. It's hard to photograph them; the lighting is bad and the cage bars are obtrusive. The only hope is to stick the lens right up against the bars and get in their faces.

This is a Japanese silky. He's got a genetic mutation that creates feathers without barbules, those little hooks that interlock and keep a feather sleek and smooth. You don't want to leave Japanese silkies out in the rain. They wouldn't survive a month without a coop, methinks. What chicken would, in this raccoon-ridden world?
I like the extra touch of Antwerp blue around the eye. This little rooster looks intelligent and slightly severe to me, though I think it's just his feathery eyebrows.

I can't tell if this rooster looks intelligent or not. He's a Polish crested, with the added allure of lacy feather edges.
Tiny sweet baby bunnies, all together in a pile.
A giant angora, allergy in a cage. I sneeze just thinking about it. I'm allergic to rabbits, cats, and horse dander. I can ride, but don't ask me to curry a horse! Some dogs drive me crazy--Cocker spaniels and some other long-haired dogs. Kind of depends. But not birds, thank goodness, or Boston terriers. I can bury my face and go to sleep in Chet's sweet eyelash-length fur. If I buried my face in this rabbit's fur I would not wake up.
And a Siamese dwarf bunny. Please. Every time I thought I'd found the cutest bunny in the world, another one would hove into view. I have to get out of the bunny barn now. Cute overload allergy. Achoo!


[Back to Top]