When I was a 7-year-old horse crazy girl, the quickest way to get me in the car when my parents were going to visit another set of boring old friends was to tell me that they had horses. Invariably, the boring old friends would have sold their horses five or ten years before that, which rendered them extra boring.
But my dad knew a couple of people with real farms - his cousin Mary in Missouri, and a church member who had moved out of the city to settle on a place he called Storybook Farm, where the wide variety of animals were named after characters from books. We visited the Missouri place only once while it was still a working farm with a milk cow, two mules, chickens, and probably cats and a dog, though I can't remember for sure. I was more impressed by the mules and cow, and that trip was the first and last time I milked a cow. I loved that place, and I still have dreams about (of all things) the house's attic.
It's probably no surprise, then, that I grew up dreaming that I would have a farm of my own someday. And the only way my feeble mind could imagine accomplishing this was to marry a farmer. If I married a farmer, I could have ALL the animals I wanted!
I think my husband hates animals. It's possible he does, since he's made it pretty clear that any animals I've had since we've been married were/are incredible, expensive nuisances. He may have privately rejoiced when two of my horses died in December. Just last night I finally figured out that he has been secretly live-trapping my cats, as part of a kitty relocation program.
My dream of having all the animals I ever wanted is now dead. Rest in Peace, dream.
Could it be Karma that the last thing caught in the live trap was a skunk?