Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Smallest Neighbors

The Lippitt farmstead raises a diverse range of animals. They have several breeds of sheep (Merino, Cheviot, Tunis, and Southdown), pigs, Devon Shorthorn cattle, chickens, ducks, and Zeb the Percheron draft horse. Big Zeb is something of a star in the barnyard. School children and adults alike visit the Museum just to see Zeb in his traces drawing the wagon, pulling the plow, or standing proudly in the pasture. My admiration, however, is extended to some of our smallest neighbors at the farm. The sparrows have claimed the barn as their own, despite all our efforts to displace them. They live here despite being unwanted by the farmers and pursued by the barn cat. Cheeky and boisterous, they squabble, chirp, and swoop around the farmers as they fork hay into the loft. Flights of sparrows launch dramatic air-born raids on any spilled chicken feed, and even hang upside down by their feet from the corn shocks drying in the barn. These bold little thieves cheerfully raid the barn for food, take shelter from storms under its eaves, and seem to watch our busy actions with amusement.

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