From Pipi’s Pasture: An animal’s Christmas list
Recently, I reviewed “Winter Barn,” a children’s picture book, written and illustrated by Peter Parnall. It is a nonfiction book about a barn that serves as a refuge for a variety of animals, both domesticated and wild. We don’t have a barn here at Pipi’s Pasture, though we do have some loafing sheds, a haystack and various outbuildings, all of which serve as good places where animals can get in out of the winter snow and cold.
One of the cats here at Pipi’s Pasture has adopted an interesting home down by the corral. It’s a used plastic mineral container, turned upside-down, with a crack from top to bottom that is open just enough to make a fine door. The cat is quite comfortable in her home and crawls out each morning when I arrive with cat food.
One thought leads to another so thinking about the makeshift homes animals choose in winter made me wonder — if animals could make wish lists for the Christmas season, what would they include? Just for fun consider the following, keeping in mind both domesticated and wild animals.
• a used grain sack, old blanket or rug placed in a box under shelter to use as a bed
• plenty of birdseed in a feeder or suet hung in a tree
• safe places to get in out of the storm — holes under buildings, cuddly places in a barn, spaces
between bales in a stack and others
• someone to provide hay at the same time each day
• a grain treat
• apples left on the tree even if they’re frozen and then thawed
• a path shoveled off from a sleeping place to the food and water dishes
• open water in winter — even better, warm water in the early morning
• plenty of dog biscuits, bones or other treats
• a peaceful hibernation
• a catnip toy or something fun to chase
• a place to sleep inside, perhaps in front of the fireplace, on a cold night
• warm water from a stock tank
• a big tub of sweet-tasting mineral
• nice long walks or, even better, playing “catch the ball”
• an upcoming summer with plenty of water for drinking, lots of grass and shade trees for those hot days
• plenty of worms to crawl to the surface when it rains this coming summer
• a summer with lots of chokecherries, serviceberries and other kinds of fruit
• a summer free of flies
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