My hat is off to parents who have a job in town but insist on raising their kids in a “rural lifestyle.” Fifty or so thousand young people were at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis last year. I would bet at least 3.4 of them come from rural lifestyle families.
The relationship between kids and their livestock, including rabbits and horses, is an intimate one. The animals are all named, the facilities are often much-repaired, and responsibilities are shared.
Samantha’s older brother was going to junior college in their Idaho hometown. He still kept a small herd of four longhorn cows and a bull that had been his high school FFA project. The Bull-of-The-Woods was named Braveheart. That fateful morning Samantha didn’t have class and had slept in. Upon rising she peeked out her window to see the light blue sky, high stratus clouds, and brother’s cows strung out along the paved road that went by their house!
She pulled on her boots and a hoody over her colorful pajamas and marched out the door muttering technicolor threats to the cows, her brother and Braveheart! She didn’t even have time to put in her contacts and sharpen her claws!
Tromping down the inside of the fence she was singing curses to all involved! Several civilians drove by and waved at her cheerfully. They never stopped to help, thinking maybe she was a Swiss milkmaid out to gather her cows on an Alpine hillside.