When Animals Attack: Petting Zoo Edition

As a new veterinary student with 12 weeks of Extramural Studies looming ahead in all my future holidays, setting up volunteer connections is quickly becoming my top priority. Well, almost. I’m currently fighting both wrinkles and pimples. Trying not to look simultaneously middle-aged and pre-teen is truthfully my #1 priority right now. Oh vanity!

So, after my extensive cleansing and moisturizing routine today, J and I made our way to Gorgie City Farm, our volunteer applications in hand. The Farm is close to my house, so I was hoping to start spending time over the weekends playing with (and gleaning valuable experience from) the various animals housed there. Unfortunately, they are not currently accepting “adult volunteers” because volunteering at the Farm is a little more tailored towards elementary school aged children. We should have known…

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Still, being at the Farm was inspiring and nurturing to my inner-child. I ate chocolate cake and in the subsequent sugar high, spasmodically chased a hornet with a napkin, infuriating the hornet (and a few of his closest friends who had all come by to eat my last bite of cake). I knew there was a reason I got bran cereals instead of sugar cereals as a child. It wasn’t “to keep me regular,” it was because sugar makes me obnoxious…just ask the hornets.

My belly happy with cake and cappuccino, I walked around the Farm saying hi to all the animals. There were some fluffy chickens, but I didn’t bother to take any pictures of them because I find poultry immensely boring, and I thought they all kinda looked like mini “Big Birds.” In case you are not familiar with poultry, chickens seriously look just like this, except shorter:

After we left the chickens, I felt myself pulled towards one of my favorite animals: the goat. I love goats. Reference the B and Erin’s Excellent Goat Milking Adventure of 2012:


I was actually crap at milking goats, but very good at catching and snuggling with baby goats, which is why this picture is not an action shot of me with my hand around a teat squirting milk in a bucket. I tried, but the goat ended up sticking a muddy hoof into the bucket of milk, so I decided I would be of more help over at the other end of the barn…

The Gorgie Goat was neither interested in being milked nor chased and held and cuddled. He was actually more like, “Forget you lady, I know you don’t have any food, so I’m not going to pose for your stupid blog!” Seriously. I’m pretty much the Goat Whisperer. I know exactly what he was thinking. And to prove it, I really didn’t get a single good picture of him.

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What a heartless beast. He totally rejected my affection. So typical.

After my attempts to capture the handsome goat were foiled by the sun and his baaaaaad attitude (haha get it?), I decided to make him jealous by showing the sheep some love.

As luck would have it, the universe took this opportunity to teach me that one should NEVER try to make one man (or goat) jealous by showering a different man (or sheep) with affection. It never works.

How did the universe go about teaching me this lesson, you ask?

The sheep bit me.

Well, as much as any animal without top incisors or canine teeth can “bite.”

I watched the sheep attempt to devour my soon-to-be priceless (or, more accurately $xxx,xxx in loan debt) veterinary surgeon hand, and followed my instinct to capture the moment with my camera before releasing my hand from the gums of death:


OK – so maybe you caught me exaggerating. The sheep was not “devouring my future surgeon hand,” he was more like sucking on my pinky finger and really only up to  my second phalange, which I may be able to do without in surgery anyway. Especially on my left hand.

After I escaped from the ovine pinky grasp, I washed my hands. Three times. One can not be too careful with Orf, after all.

I think my time at Gorgie Farm this afternoon taught me a lot about life and love and the world around me, which is somehow full of hornets.

Alas, I can’t reflect on today’s life lessons a moment longer as I have my cattle practical tomorrow afternoon and need to get some beauty sleep in anticipation of the bus ride home…just in case.


About ermodi

i like champagne and nachos. i watch people’s mouths move when they talk to me and judge if they are a good kisser i like to write with fine-tip Sharpies because i think it makes me look confident i bite my nails i think doing the dishes is a very lonely chore i think “autumn” is the prettiest word in the English language. i believe in love – or, at least something that resembles love, but i don’t trust this idea of forever.
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