Some women click around the Internet fantasizing about the next pair of shoes they’re going to buy. Others might be researching dream vacations, searching for the ultimate chocolate cake recipe, trying to define their decor style or looking for love — or at least sex. Most of my mom’s Google searches are for the next animal she wants to add to her menagerie.
Since I’ve been of child-bearing age, she has been looking at Haflinger horses for the offspring I have yet to produce.
“When your daughter visits Grandma on the farm, she will have the most perfect little pony to ride. And, when you’re back in Columbia, the pony will pull me around in a cart.”
I tell her I have no plans for children in the near future. She emails me pictures of stocky little palominos, as if it’s a lack of boots and saddles that delays my plunge into motherhood.
Other times, she’s thinking of the animals she’s going to bring to Columbia when she’s old. I promised her a long time ago that I would never send her to a nursing home. Instead, she’ll live with me.
“I hope you know I’m going to be very, very crazy,” she tells me.
“I don’t doubt it.”
“I’m going to wander into your neighbor’s yard with no clothes on.”
“This is Columbia. Nobody will care.”
“And I want my goats.”
“You can have one.”
“A house goat?”
“Yes, but only one and you will both wear bells around your necks so I can hear you coming and going.”
“Well, I suppose I can live with that.”
Lately, she’s been looking to expand our potential zoo even further.
“Do you know what ballerina geese look like?”
“Google it. I think they’re cool. We should have a few.”
“Well, Columbia allows urban chickens, so I don’t see urban geese being too much of a stretch.”
“Now Google Egyptian geese. They’re pretty cool, too.”
“Ah, they are.”
“We should have a few of those, too.”
“Um, this website says they’re especially aggressive.”
“We will never have a problem with prowlers!”
“But what happens when the neighbor kids lose a ball or a Frisbee in our backyard?”
“I cannot wait to see the look on their faces the first time that happens.”
So, future neighbors, beware. Ours will be a household of nudists, indoor livestock and guard geese. Please do come over if you ever need to borrow a cup of sugar, and you’re always welcome to join us for cocktail hour.
Just call first.