Dear Curiosity Journal,
Sharing life with animals brings us into the steady cadence of routine. We are creatures of habit and ordinary needs. We awaken, drink, eat, move, and rest again. We seek sunshine, resources, and care. Every morning, I awaken and care for the sheep. With each sunrise, I open the gate, pick up their water bucket, and head to the spigot. Without fail, Betty and Cauliflower rush the gate and baaah with all their might. I interpret their bleating as a call for grain. I swear these gals live for organic oats. They cry at the gate until I return with their water. Then the flock follows me so tightly that I have to take baby steps. They jostle for position as I open the oat bucket. By the time I pry the lid off, Peter has his hooves up on the wall beside me, stretching his neck toward the bucket and Betty is impatiently nuzzling my side. I press through the fray and toss a few handfuls into the hay to take some heat off myself. Then I feed each one by hand. Betty always tries to stick her head in the bucket. Joy Jr. chomps my hand every time. Pearly consistently hangs back and takes her mouthfuls gingerly. Cauliflower invariably comes in hot. Peter perpetually bosses everyone around. Franny is forever getting fed last. We make these daily transactions with religious consistency, with only minor modifications. The expectation is always the same, and there’s a curious comfort in this predictable rhythm, each animal dancing to its own reliable nature.