Each year my father, mother and I go on vacation. Sometimes it is to the beach, sometimes it is to visit my oldest brother in Arizona, but this family vacation was dedicated to visiting the colleges I was most interested in. It was only unfortunate that they were all over 1000 miles to the north. It took two days of driving, in which mom slept, dad sightsaw and I maneuvered our SUV through traffic like an amateur or a professional depending on which part of the country we were in at the time.
We went to Dartmouth College, the University of Virginia and Wellesley College during the first few days, but in the afternoon after Dartmouth, we decided to explore the regions of New Hampshire and Vermont. Instead of sticking to restaurant chains, my family always braves the unknown and eats in local restaurants to get a feel of what it is really like to live there. This vacation was no different and each small restaurant in the area kept bringing attention to various items that were locally grown. On the back of the menu would be a list of where each locally grown food item came from and one farm kept popping up on menus time after time: Sugarbush.
We were itching so badly to know what was so grand about this farm that we asked a waitress to tell us about it. She said all visitors were welcome and she gave us directions that led us right to the farm’s front doorstep.Instead of the large farm that I imagined, there was a small house, a barn to keep the cows in and not much to look at after that. There was a sign that led us into the house where three women were working away at making cheese and encouraged us to look around and buy from their store in the next room.
Mom was fascinated by how they made the cheese and dad was fascinated by how good the finished cheese looked, but I was unsatisfied and went outside to look around. I went to the edge of the barn where four cows were. I tried to pet them but they kept going further away, so I explored elsewhere.
I went back to where our car was parked and I noticed a baby cow chained to a very large dog house. There was a pail of cow food and a bucket to put money in, so I figured cow-lovers were welcome in this area. I didn’t mean to, but I ended up petting the poor thing for twenty minutes until my parents came out of the cheese house with bags of goodies.
While I was petting the cow’s small brown head, I noticed its gigantic brown eyes, and how the rope around its neck had caused its fur to come out in a shape like a necklace. The cow didn’t do anybody harm, but I realized that someday it would probably be carried off to be made into a hamburger and sold in a local restaurant so tourists like me could dine happily. After my parents came out, my dad decided to join in the animal bonding brigade.
As he walked closer, a nearby goat sounded to get attention, so dad petted it instead of the cow I named Daisy. After he began petting the goat, a small chipmunk ran up beside him and the whole situation made me feel like Snow White, the scene where she talks to all the animals and they surround her while she sings to them.
I have come to a conclusion that the animals at Sugarbush Farm are a lot more trusting of people than typical animals. As this once in a life time interaction was going on, I couldn’t help but wish all animals got to live this well.
This past year, I kept hearing about all the farms that kept their animals in single stalls and they never got to see the light of day, with no fresh grass to graze on and nothing but mud and slush to sleep on at night. At Sugarbush they got to roam a bit, be petted whenever they batted their big brown eyes, and lived as farm animals, not the source of profit for the owner. I wanted the entire world to look at Sugarbush as an inspiration and I’m just blessed I got to see it first hand.
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