Baaa, neigh, oink! Baby Animal Fair a hit yet again
Patch, Ed, Koko and Roscoe all had stories to tell, and they did in their own ways at the annual Baby Animal Fair on April 24 at Quincy High School.
Roscoe the dog dug the sudden popularity, responding to the many small hands reaching out to pet and scratch him by unfurling his tongue and panting with glee.
Ed the calf, barely 1 month old, remained kind of quiet, preferring the center of his pen away from the sides, where students could touch him.
And Koko and Patch, the horses, took all the visitors in with stoicism, young Koko enduring the surprising April heat, and calmer veteran Patch engulfed in shadow. A sign warned the visitors at Koko’s spot: Don’t touch the face.
“Little kids tend to go like this,” said Abby Thompson, Koko’s owner, wiggling her fingers near the horse’s face, “and he thinks it’s food or something.”
Hungry or not, the animals were a massive hit with the children visiting the animals. In reality, the event is called Ag Day, but most everyone refers to it as the Baby Animal Fair.
“It’s just best for the kids to be around these animals and maybe foster a little bit of interest in them,” said Mike Wallace, the co-adviser for Quincy High School’s FFA chapter.
In addition to dogs, horses and calves, the fair featured pigs, chickens, goats and bunnies, as well as handfuls of FFA students working hard to keep the animals calm and the children entertained. One student, Eli Westra, had a bunny with his head tucked under his arm.
“If you hide their eyes, they don’t freak out,” Westra explained.
Students from a variety of schools around the Quincy area as well as children from day care centers and special-needs students from QHS dropped by the fair and made new friends.
“She’s excited about it, she likes being around animals,” said Tarin Kendrick, the teacher for blind student Ashlyn Turner. “She loves it.”
Ashlyn responded to the feel of Ed’s fur with laughs and giggles. She also petted Roscoe and had a good time touching the feet of Quincy student Kylie Breeden’s chickens.
All the popularity got to Roscoe, who had to be taken for a walk. In his place, Quincy student Noah Nielson sat in Roscoe’s pen. Nielson took to his understudy role with gusto, saying “Bark, bark,” to a passer-by.
“Be careful,” Nielson’s classmate Jaelyn Zuñiga said. “He hasn’t had all his shots.”
By Sebastian Moraga, email@example.com