Growing up, one of my friends lived in an old, brick farmhouse with her parents, younger brother, and an array of unusual pets. Down on that farm, there was an adventure around every corner!
One Saturday when my younger sister and I were visiting, I heard muffled music coming from an unexplored wing of the house. Following the sound, I found a door ajar. I peered though the crack into a bright, airy room with long windows and built-in bookcases.
The music stopped, and I glimpsed movement in the far corner of the room. It was my friend’s father. He put down a trumpet, glided across the room, and picked up a shiny brass saxophone. The music started again. He was the music maker!
My friend’s brother appeared, looking flushed, and swiftly closed the door. I followed the boy into the kitchen where his mother was making lunch… and where a boa constrictor was wrapped around a houseplant in the middle of the farmhouse table. I shrieked. The tall, slender woman turned from the stove.
“Oh, there you are!” She looked playfully at the massive creature, which had craftily escaped its cage (again). She scooped the reptile up. Within seconds, it covered her hand and wrist like a huge boxing glove.
“What?” She cooed as she came toward me. “Are you afraid of him? Don’t be afraid. He’s so sweet!” As she nuzzled the beast, I fled from the house toward the barn with my friend, her brother, and my sister close on my heels.
We leaned against the barnyard fence, giggling and gasping for air. The resident hog sauntered over and gave a loud wheeze of his own. His round snout – the size of a skillet – was inches from our faces. We fell into more peals of laughter as a singsong, “Lunch is ready!” drifted through the screen door and touched our ears.