|Bambi and four of his pets|
|Baby antelope kisses|
A ranch is a different place to grow up.
In many ways.
Miles from any other humans, one never worries about what the 'neighbours will think'.
Also because of the distance between homesteads, one has to become very self-reliant.
One doesn't drive half and hour to borrow a cup of sugar or a can of soup.
One makes do.
And learns to plan ahead.
Kids growing up on a ranch make their own entertainment.
Well, at least they did in the 50s and 60s.
Electronics hadn't been invented yet.
There was one channel on the TV.
And talking on the phone wasn't the private enterprise it is today.
Entertainment consisted of visiting with your family.
Also with said family.
Swinging from ropes in the hay loft.
And, of course, playing with your pets.
On a ranch, there were all the usual pets one would expect.
And some a little harder to hid in your bedroom.
And then, at least on our ranch, the animals you wouldn't expect.
Oh, we had the usual assortment of barn cats.
The end result of years of 'spur of the moment' cat sex.
We had several dogs.
All brought in from other ranches and, unlike the aforementioned cats, strictly controlled.
And then we had the animals who had been injured or orphaned.
And just needed some care and a place to stay.
A litter of coyote pups.
Discovered by my father after finding a dead, female coyote.
And a seagull.
Found near the road, unable to fly.
A snake or two.
Assorted baby animals, found by me and subsequently (good word) turned out of the house by my unenlightened mother.
Did you know that a baby porcupine is really, really cute?
Well they are.
Moving on . . .
And several baby deer.
These wilder 'pets' didn't stay around long.
As they grew, they began to pose some problems.
Wild animals, no matter how cute, simply don't domesticate.
No matter how hard you try.
Or how much you talk to them.
Our baby deer, unexpectedly named 'Bambi', got quite aggressive, especially with my toddling baby sister.
I don't know what he thought she was.
But he didn't like it.
And tried to express himself with sharp hooves.
He, like most of them, after tearful good-byes, went to petting zoos in the area.
But, for a time, they belonged to our family.
I still think that befriending them and spending time with them was better than any form of electronic entertainment.
And I'm always right.