Fair season

Does anyone else have a love/hate relationship with fairs? I love to go, but I always end up in tears at some point! Every year, I try to plan a family fair day, and I always look forward to it. We try to explore fairs that we haven’t been to before, or sometimes we revisit an old favorite. The food, the rides, the sights and smells, I love it all.

But what about the animals? Walking through the barns, seeing all the cows, horses, sheep, llamas, bunnies, I absolutely love it, right up until I see the sign that the prize winning pig was sold to Hannaford, (a grocery chain). I grew up riding horses, but never lived on a farm. I know it is a different life style, and I know people depend on their animals for food and income. I’m not currently a vegetarian, although I have gone through years of giving up meat.


The cows have such sweet faces!

The day before we were at the fair, two twin baby lambs were born at the fair. They were so tiny and precious!

While we were looking at the new babies, a full grown sheep behind me nuzzled my back. I turned around to pat him, and he pushed into my hand and snuggled his head up to me. He raised his chin so I could give him some good scratches, so sweet and affectionate! When I stopped patting him, he bumped me with his nose to get my attention again.

We visited the horse barns. While I love and enjoy seeing the horses and can’t imagine going to the fair and not seeing them. It also makes me a little sad because it makes me miss riding and being around them. The smell of horses will always hold a special place in my heart.

We made our way around the fair through all the barns, but I hadn’t seen any bunnies! For a few years now I’ve had an obsession about angora bunnies. We found them, there were 8-10 at the fair, so pretty! I knit, and I’ve always thought it would be cool to have an Alpaca, or sheep that I could shear and go through the whole process of making my own yarn, but having a sheep requires more space and different zoning than our current home. Almost anyone can have pet bunnies! I spent a lot of time with a very kind woman who explained to me all about the angora bunnies, taking care of them, how she combs and shaves them for the wool. I can’t believe I didn’t take any pictures of them! There were a couple of white ones that I learned were ready to be combed/shaved. They looked huge, but when I touched them I realized it was all fluff. The woman told me the bunnies only weighed about 7 lbs and it was all the wool that made them look so big. If the husband wasn’t with me, I just might have come home with a bunny!

There wouldn’t have been any regrets if I had come home with a bunny, but I have to admit the house is pretty full right now. Four cats is a lot. The litter boxes are still making me crazy, the mess, the smell, the upkeep, yuck. Good thing I love and enjoy the cats! I almost gave in and bought a litter robot a couple of weeks ago, but I’m honestly not sure it will solve the problem. 

The fair we went to had harness racing. I’ve never been a fan of racing. I’ve read too many stories about the rough handling of race horses. I hate that Thoroughbreds are started under saddle so young. We happened to be walking sort of near the track when a race was happening, so we watched for a second, but I had to turn around and leave. The poor horses all look so panicked. 

So many conflicting emotions, the joy I felt scratching that sheep’s neck, and seeing those newborn baby lambs. The sadness I felt seeing the pigs that were sold to a grocery chain, and watching the harness horses run for their lives.

Even with the fleeting moments of sadness, I loved the fair. Maybe they are a good reminder of where food comes from for those of us who don’t see it all the time? Maybe they help promote better treatment of all animals?

One of these days, an angora bunny or two is definitely on my wish list! I really like the idea of having a pet with a purpose and being able to make my own angora yarn. Anyone else have a love/hate relationship with fairs?