Driving was an exciting adventure. Where I was heading was even more fabulous.
Arriving at the Alma Bonita Farm, I was so excited I couldn’t wait to get out of the car. The roads to get here were bumpy and uncomfortable, but it was worth it. As soon as Daddy opened the car door, I was hit in the face with a smell like hay. Farm smell. I smiled.
He motioned for me and Brayden to come out of the car while Jenn got baby Victor out of his car seat. As I opened the door, I looked at the ground, which was full of rocks and hay. Cautiously stepping out, I looked around. Jenn said there would be no one there. I relaxed.
There was only one family here, and they were just finishing up. A friendly man named Michael strides toward us. Seeing us, he says, “Hi!” I make a funny face.
Glancing at our masks, he asks if he should get a mask. “Oh, no, it’s fine.” Daddy says.
He gestures toward a room on the side, and says, “Okay, we’ll need you to sign, if you’ll just fill it out. Daddy takes a pen and starts flipping through the pages.
Turning around, he looks at us. “Naomi, you go first, then Brayden, then Jenn.” After a discussion of what in the world he was talking about, I stepped up on the slanted surface. “Sign your signature where it says, sign signature.” Daddy says. I scan the bottom of the paper. I see it, and I point at it.
“Here?” I ask.
“No! Over here.” Daddy exclaimed. I print my name.
“Is that a signature? Should I sign my last name?” Daddy just slaps his head.
“No, no, it’s fine, just. . . Ahh, next.” Brayden steps up with no trouble, then we all put hand sanitizer on. Jenn signs it, then we look at the animals. . .
We next found the horses chilling out by metal fences by our car. Walking over, I discovered that I could pet it. I gave a silent cheer in my head, where usually it’s hard to think because I’m blasting my favorite songs in there.
I gently stroked its snout, which it seemed to like. Jenn wandered over to where we later discovered held roosters and other birds. As she had her back turned, a pony was trotting slowly behind her. “Jenn. . . horse.” I say. She doesn’t answer, so I try again, and Daddy joins in. “Hey Jenn, there’s a horse behind you!”
She finally turns around, but isn’t startled by it. She moves around it then starts petting it. I also pet it. “Hey Jenn,” Daddy says. “Don’t go behind it.”
She moved away from the horse, which honestly looked innocent. After a bit of petting and explaining that horses do not bite, Michael appeared. I asked a question that had been on my mind. “Why is there a horse wandering over here?”
“Oh, Star is very gentle, so we let her wander around. She doesn’t mind people petting her. Anyways, we are going to feed the baby goats. You see, the one with the rubber band strapped around it is for Latte, because he is a goat,” (or a sheep, I sorta forgot.) We nodded.
Moving toward a barn, he asked if we wanted to feed them. “Me!” Brayden and I said simultaneously. They sucked on the bottle, which delighted and surprised me. They almost launched themselves toward the bottle, and they were finished in just a few minutes.
Michael explained that there was another sheep that had just died a few days ago, because it was born before it was supposed to. We nodded in silent awe. Brayden must have just happened to look up, because he shouted, “There’s a cat up there!”
Among the beams that held the roof, a ginger-colored cat was perched up on the nearest beam. Michael chuckles then says, “That’s Oliver, who’s supposed to be chasing mice, although he really isn't. We give him treats and stuff, though.”
We moved outside next to our parked car, where a bull was lying down, its name was Norman. Michael says, “My wife sent me a picture when he was a baby, just of his head, asking if we could bring Norman here. So I said, ‘Sure, why not?’ Thinking it was a lamb or sheep or something,”
“Go on,” I murmured, fascinated.
“Well, the next day she asked me, ‘can you set up the horse trailer?” And I thought, ‘why in the world would we need the horse trailer?!’ Well, it turns out, that was Norman.” We all laughed.
Next we moved onto the turkeys.
Before the squawk attack, we saw a dog named Maya, which funny enough, our dog is also Maya. Looking it up later, I found this: “Maya was sold out of the back of a car at only 5 weeks old. She was purchased by some teenage boys who brought her home only to have the parents squash the idea. She was turned into Bay Area German Shepherd Rescue and with our luck Apollo’s foster mom Kathy was able to take her in. She knew we were looking for a friend for Apollo so she immediately gave us a call. When we saw Maya we knew her silly personality would be a perfect match for Apollo’s seriousness. She has turned out to have the perfect amount of sweetness, spunk and sass to keep things very lively and lighthearted around here!”
As I thought he was finished saying something, I say, “Our dog knows how to salute.” He doesn’t hear, but Daddy nudges me and I keep quiet.
“So here’s a funny story.” Michael says. “I was going over at night to put the birds away, and I didn’t know that Chadwick, our rooster, was out of his cage, so he trapped me in a place, but on the other side was a turkey, and he hates me.”
“So he started to use his wings to fight,” Michael continued. “And if you don’t know, it hurts, because it’s all bone over there.” We walked slowly toward the pen, and I found a big pile of horse poop on the way. Yuck, I thought. Baby Victor grumped.
“WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!” He screamed.
Michael was saying that they were going to build a house here, overlooking the scenery. They had tried a few years ago, but the forest fires started. The people who built houses didn’t allow it. But later, they said, ‘This is what you have to do,’ So he has to widen the roads and stuff.
Michael introduced us to Chadwick, the rooster. He was squawking very loudly, but I had a sense not to show it. “Settle down!” I say to him, but he just looks at me then squawks again.
As he continues *SQUAWK!* Hey, I'm trying to do my. . . *SQUAWK!* Arrgh! Stop it, let me do my story, Chadwi- *SQUAWK!* I GIVE UP!
Anyways, squawking aside, a turkey that Michael ignores because the turkey definitely doesn’t like him, puffs his feathers. Michael asks us a question after explaining the pig was a Potbelly Pig. It was black, with its belly drooping pretty low. Brayden fed it a carrot.
“Can you tell me which two are roosters?” Michael asks. I point to every other one before landing on a white, fluffy bird. “That is a silk rooster.” He explains.
“Wow!” I say.
“Would you like to feed them?” He asks, grinning.
“Yes!” Me and Brayden say again. He pours us each a handful of yellow, orange and white stuff that I suspect are seeds or food of some sort.
Michael shows us what to do. “Throw it through the gate.” I was hesitant at first, but then I threw it. It landed with a satisfying crash and some plops. Some landed on the pig, and all the birds started pecking the ground.
“You see the pig got some on him?” Michael says. “The birds all eat it off of him later.” We all smiled. I laughed.
Turning around, another Potbelly pig was eating stuff on the ground. “When he was little, his other owners would feed him whatever they ate; In and Out burgers, tacos, burritos. So he got so fat that his eyelids covered his eyes so he couldn't see. We put him on a diet, but he still can’t see,” Michael says.
I spotted his stomach drooping all the way to the floor. “So he uses his other senses to move his way.” Michael finished. Moving around to the ducks, Michael spotted the male followed by the rest of the ducks, all females.
“Did you know ducks need to wet their beaks every 20 minutes? They are never twenty minutes away from water.” Michael says, matter-of-factly.
“No we didn’t.” Daddy says. We moved onto the grown up goats.
As soon as he came, the goats were practically jumping for him to feed them. The two of them with their head through the gate looked like Latte and Annie, the babies we fed earlier. We fed them some carrots, then Michael took a handful and threw it.
All the goats surrounded the carrots. One tiny goat chased after them. “Is that one young?” Daddy asks. Michael grins.
“Nope, he is actually six years old! One of the oldest. He is a(I forgot the name of the type of goat he is) funny enough. He is pretty slow, too.” Michael threw him a carrot that landed on its head. Another goat snatched it before he could eat it. The goats at the gate started ramming into it, mad that they weren’t getting more carrots.
We moved out of the pen, into the horse area. There was a coop next to it. “So, I was getting Boseman,” Michael says as Daddy laughs. “Into the coop, and he doesn’t like me either, so he was pecking at me, and I was trying to keep my pants up while keeping him back a little with a rake, and I finally managed to get him into the coop.”
“I told my wife, and she said I was exaggerating. But luckily, the security camera had caught the whole thing! She was laughing so hard by the end of the video. Now, whenever we have people up here, she makes me show them that video,” Michael laughed.
We turned toward the horses. “Horses like to be in pairs of two,” Michael explained, “So if you buy a horse, you have to get two at least. Kody over here, his buddy passed away just a few days ago. So he is a bit sad.” Then Daddy started asking if the horse was okay. Like, constantly. Michael didn’t hear him all the time, but when he did he says, “Yes, just a bit unhappy.”
That was the ending to our visit. Michael said he would give Daddy eggs, which we later found out were turkey, duck, and chicken eggs. As I waited in the car, I was already asking when we would come back. “Maybe a few weekends from now.” Jenn responds. My birthday? I think.
Daddy gets into the car, and we drive home, which is a twenty-minute drive. When me and Brayden got home, we both agreed on one thing; We would definitely be going back again.
About The Author:
Naomi Passapera is a resident in Morgan Hill, California. She is currently 10 years old and already has published one actual book. It is nineteen pages long. Lame. Skip that, and read the soon to come out version: Adventures of The Magic Realm. (It has been finished, just not published!)