‘They can’t shove us with their feet, so they spit’

Five dozen pre-schoolers learn the do’s and don’t around farm animals

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

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ROCKINGHAM — The lawn in front of Thomas Leath Memorial Library  was turned into a petting zoo on Thursday as nearly five dozen pre-schoolers took part of the weekly summer reading program.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Adan King, 5, of Rockingham, feeds a goat Thursday at Leath Memorial Library in Rockingham.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Adan King, 5, of Rockingham, feeds a goat Thursday at Leath Memorial Library in Rockingham.

Peggy Wilkes read “You Get What You Get,” written by Julie Gassman and illustrated by Sarah Horne.  The children’s coordinator for the library then helped the library’s Deborah Knight herd the kids outside to visit Miss Cinnamon, a llama, Andy, a 15-year-old “baby” turtle and Miss Pearl, a full-grown goat and other animals.

Before heading outside, Knight cautioned the kids that perhaps their normal behavior might not provide the best environment for them while with the animals.

“We don’t need to scream,” Knight said. “We don’t need to holler. We don’t need to scare the animals.”

The animals had traveled earlier Thursday from 5 Star/Wilkie Farm in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. They were ready to stretch their legs after the journey of nearly two hours, but they also wanted some peace, handler Robert Slate said.

Llamas, Slate told the kids, “can’t shove with their feet, so they spit.”

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Ryan Ferguson, 3, of Rockingham, enjoys the petting zoo at the library.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Ryan Ferguson, 3, of Rockingham, enjoys the petting zoo at the library.

That wasn’t the only tidbit Slate passed out. Miss Cinnamon had just been sheared — given a haircut — so she looked a bit skinnier than what llamas usually look like. She gets a haircut about every other year, Slate said, taking off a coat that’s up to 4 inches thick.

Then there was Pearl the goat, who would protect her little boys and girls like a good momma should, Slate said. And there was Andy the land tortoise. At 15 years old, Slate said, he was still a baby. Andy’s expected to triple in size and weight, reaching up to 150 pounds.

“He won’t be so easy to carry around then,” Slate said.

Knight said the summer reading series continues to grow. More than 380 youth attended a session for older kids earlier this week and about 60 toddlers were there on Tuesday for the Wee Bees program.

 

Filed in: Education, Featured News, Latest Headlines, News

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