Today on Mr. Roger's neighborhood, Mr. Rogers went to a dairy farm to learn about milking cows. The girls were oooing and ahhing about it and the sun was starting to peek out from behind the clouds, so I came up with the grand idea of visiting the farm that is right off Bells Hill Road. We packed some snacks and hiked up the hill out our subdivision to Bells Hill. It has always amazed me that there is an old farm right between I-95 and Route 1 and today seemed like the perfect day to have a hands-on learning experience about farm life. If nothing else I thought it would be a good chance to meet our "neighbors." We walked up the gravel road that I had passed hundreds of times and bravely went up to the farm house where we met the hired hand, Sherman. He explained that they don't milk their cows but just raise them to be slaughtered. I'm not exactly sure what happened next. There must have been some sort of miscommunication because before I knew it he was leading us through a small hen house to the other side of the fence where he gave us permission to look for the cows. He mentioned something about being cautious of the goats, then left us to roam around the back pasture and explore by ourselves. I wasn't sure what was going on, but I said thanks and kept going.
We walked down a very steep hill to a whole new world...there was a huge meadow full of buttercups, a stream lining the woods, and the buzz of I-95 in the background. It was such a different experience to be minutes from our house in this serene pasture. However, things started to go downhill fast. I was enjoying exploring, but the whole time Haley was complaining about the mud and cow pies that were interrupting her every step. "Mom, this is not good! There is poop EVERYwhere...We have to get out of here. I have to take a bath....it is TOO DiRTY here!" Darcy starts to whine and complain too. All of a sudden in the distance I noticed two goats. I tried to distract the girls from their plight to notice the animals. The goats caught our eye and began to make their way toward us. "Hi, Goat!" Darcy began calling to them. They began to pick up speed and soon the goats began RUNNING toward us. I remembered Sherman's casual warning and began to feel panicky. I didn't know what to do and the girls began to whimper as they got closer and closer. "Mom...we have to get out of HERE!" I held their hands and began to run the other way as the goats caught up to us. I grabbed Darcy as they jumped up and knocked their faces to ours. They knocked Haley over and began licking her face...you cannot even imagine the chaos that broke out! At that moment, Sherman came down to rescue us and tried to corral the goats. I wish I could tell you that the story ended there...I was trying to play it cool so the girls would settle down. "Wow.. those goats sure liked you! They were pretty excited to see you..." They were absolutely ballistic. "Bach home...bach hooooome!" cried Darcy. I was attempting to take Darcy's advice and we were making our way back up the steep hill when the stinkin' goats escaped from Sherman and began chasing us again. The entire scenario was repeated. At this time, I picked up Haley on my other hip and, carrying 70 pounds, began to hike the slippery, muddy, poopy, steep hill to the hen house. The whole time I was praying in the name of Jesus to help me not fall backwards. Talk about adrenaline rush...I felt like I was in one of those stories where the mom picks up a car to rescue her child who is trapped underneath. Okay, so at this point I carry the girls through the hen house to the other side of the fence where we are safe from the wild goats. As I was panting and trying to catch my breath, I was in absolute bewilderment as to how this had all transpired. Sherman came up through the house and acted like it was no big thing that my toddlers had just been attacked by goats. I was trying to appear calm myself as I tried to get Haley to stop screaming. We began to converse; he learned that I was from Wisconsin and I love farms, and I came to realize that I was on the MONCURE farm. Moncure is a big name here in Stafford and there is even an elementary school here named after them. The mom was inside homeschooling her two daughters and was very nice to us. After I thanked them for their time and apologized for the interruption, they warned me on my way out of the dog who has a problem with biting people. We waved goodbye and I ran the double stroller down the driveway across the street back to our safe subdivision. The whole way home I was thinking,"Why can't I just be a normal person who does normal things?" The "Mr.Rogers learning experience" I had envisioned turned out to be a little more up-close-and-personal than I was expecting....I hope the girls aren't traumatized by farms for the rest of their lives. The End.