Due to French teachers enjoying a glass of wine (or six) with their dinners to mark the half-way point of their working week, I pick the kids up early on Wednesdays. Our favourite thing to do on this day is to go and feed the animals in one of the local farmer’s fields. I say they are farmers, but to be honest they just might be people who enjoy having massive fields, and then shoving some animals in there.
Wouldn’t surprise me in the least, this is France after all where everybody has at least two or three things with four legs.
So here we head, during the week, just me and the kids. It’s a great, cheap way for them to see some animals up close (just the price of a bit of bread, or fruit) and the livestock have got that used to us that we don’t usually have to call them anymore, they just recognise my son’s mass of curls and come shambling over.
It wasn’t like that to start with, back then I had to rattle my (appropriately named) Asda Bag For Life in the air for a few minutes before I got any response. These days though, they are there like a shot.
It must be the nice bread.
Either that or they’ve realised that if they don’t get over quickly my daughter will eat it all (It’s very nice bread).
They don’t like buns though – we’ve discovered that if you offer buns or cakes to the donkeys or the horse, they’ll eat one then sniff your next offering, with a distinct air of mistrust, and refuse any more sweet baked goods.
Although if the goats are there you won’t have any problems off-loading four-day-old cakes – they will eat anything.
They’ve even tried to eat my son’s hat a few times.
Either that or they were trying to eat my son.
The road that runs alongside the field is well travelled, and one of the weeks while we were feeding the animals a group of French visitors passed us. They made appreciative ‘cooing’ noises and voiced the opinion that it was great to see something like this: a bit of country life in the middle of a city.
I wouldn’t call where we live a city in a million years – but I got their point.
It’s great to be able to open your door on a morning and see ducks, geese and chickens roaming in the fields (and even the odd cow from time to time). And being able to throw on some clothes and be able to feed horses, donkeys and goats within five minute’s walk is also something I don’t think you can put a price on.
The kids love it and it’s such a thing to see, these giant beasts, taking food from their hands in a very delicate manner – as if they know they are small and fragile.
That lasts right up to when one of the goats or sheep get too close, then the horse or the donkeys lose their shit and chase them away. We love feeding them, but there’s definitely a hierarchy going on here – and the sheep and goats are definitely below the horse and his donkey buddies.
So yes, a great activity for me and the kids on a Wednesday.
Oh and if you thought we only fed them when the sun’s shining on a glorious day like today…
….you’d be wrong! Nothing stops our Wednesday fun!