Last week, when Jeb suggested having the kids over for dinner this weekend, I thought about all the mischief my devilly little 4-year-old granddaughter Vanessa can get into while I was tied up cooking and almost begged off. I’d been having a stressful enough time at work. I wanted to recover this weekend. But Jeb wanted them over, period. He wanted his grand-kid fix. Then I thought, well, Vanessa might behave if we wear her out first, so I hastily looked for something we could take them out to. Maybe I’d even get out of… Meh. Anyway, I googled around for fun autumn events and found The Outback Kangaroo Farm in nearby Arlington. It was a jewel of a find!
First we went to lunch at Burger King where the kids could also burn off some of their excess energy in the kid size Habitrail and curly slide there. Vanessa liked it so much she refused to leave when it was time to go. She went up into the highest bubble chamber she could get to and looking down through the clear Plexiglas at us, just shook her head “No” every time we told her to come down. I tried to persuade the others to stage a walk-out on her so she’d freak and come down as my stubborn son Andy used to when he was small, but they wouldn’t do it. See her up there with the crown on?
My rather bulky son-in-law Mikey had to climb up through the kid-size tunnels after her and she managed to elude him so thoroughly that he actually came down without her but my daughter Amy sent him right back up there again. It took, in all, about a half hour of concerted trying to get her down and I was having second thoughts about turning her loose on a kangaroo farm, but Jeb didn’t want to give up on our outing and I’m glad he didn’t!
Of course we got there too late for the 2:00 tour that we’d aimed for so, as soon as Mikey managed to coral l Vanessa again after she’d run from the car straight for the animals, we got everyone back in the cars and tarried over to the Arlington art show for the hour and a half until the next tour started.
Then back again we went for the last tour of the day at 4:00. Picture a woodsy little farm with two log cabins on it. The smaller of the two had a cockatoo and a green parrot sitting in a rusty cage on the front porch and a sign on the door inviting us to “Mosey on in.” It was full of 1800s antiques, a service desk, and lots of plushy souvenir lemurs, lamas, and roos. And, in case you’re wondering, it’ was something like $9 for adults and $7 for kids.
Amy and the kidlings with the little cabin behind them:
First we met some pygmy goats, some fancy pheasants and ducks, and a family of lemurs but didn’t get to touch them, though the female guide was in the cage with the lemurs, feeding them, and they were very friendly and playful with her. She said, “I can’t imagine why this breed are call ring-tailed bouncing lemurs…” just as one bounced off a play set and landed on her head. She also said she was asked several times a day if they made good pets because they were so undeniably cute. Her answer was an emphatic, “No.” She said they couldn’t be housebroken and were like having a two-year-old around for 15 or so years that would never be potty trained, would be constantly into everything, and would never learn to behave at all. They were sweet, though. She’d give them that.
All were warned then not to run and jump when we were amongst the animals. I had a worry of my grandkiddes doing that, especially Vanessa, but neither did. They behaved themselves perfectly. But, just in case, Mikey never did let go of Vanessa for even a second. Why tempt fate?
Then the old man came and led us into the series of enclosures occupied by large tortoises, kangaroos, wallabies, cavies, a deer, a large bunny, goats, and donkeys. All were tame and sweet and ate from our hands.
Further on, we were introduced to an ornery miniature pony with attitude named Oreo and some emu and an ostrich we were warned to keep our distance from. He could get close to the them and handle them, but they were not so nice to strangers. Oreo liked to nod his head a lot when asked if he were a bad boy.
Then we got to meet some very cuddly looking tame lamas/alpacas. Not sure which was which breed. I think the alpacas are shorter is all. These he instructed us to feed single long pellets to while clasping each pellet singly between our lips. Their lips, believe it or not, were fully prehensile and very delicately picked them from our lips while hardly touching us. It was still like being kissed by a lama face. LOL
Last but not least, we went back to the first log cabin and got to each take a turning cuddling a six-month-old baby wallaby. It was so precious I declared I wished I could take it home with me.
The lady told me I could. It was for sale! But when, shocked and hopeful, I asked her for how much, I sank back to reality. It’s $1200 and not a low maintenance pet by any means. Baby has to be bottle fed every 4 hours, coaxed to defecate with a warm damp cloth, and kept cuddled in the pouch you’re wearing for most of the day wherever you go. I wonder how that would go over at work? But I suspect it would be lovely just the same, if only I could afford it. As adults, they can be housebroken, leash trained, and are very intelligent, playful, and affectionate, but need to have a large yard to hop around in for exercise or they will get sick. They will eat the lawn and the flowers and lots else as well. Damn they’re cute and a lovable though!
Halfway home to our house for dinner, the sky, which had been leaden all day, finally opened up and let loose a hard-driving rain, lighting cracking all around us. We got so lucky to have gotten our visit to the Kangaroo farm in before it hit!
I made chicken, mushroom, and sausage fettuccine alfredo for dinner and even Vanessa liked it. I’m not a bad cook, nor are they hugely fussy eaters by any means, but I was flattered to pieces when both grandkids asked for seconds – something they almost never do. I know, I get tickled silly over the simplest things, LOL.