The last few weeks of camp Clay often came home with thoroughly soaked sneakers and socks. We’re talking socks so wet that you could twist them and squeeze out a cup or two of water. Niagara Falls socks. We kept wondering what was going on. Was he wearing them in the pool? Were there big puddles in the playground? Was he pouring juice in his shoes in case he got thirsty during the heat of the afternoon? After it happened three days in a row, we sent in a note asking his aide.
Turns out one of his favorite activities near the end of each day was feeding the goats and sheep, and filling their water buckets. You have to wonder how much water they actually got.
Knowing how much he took to the animals at camp, we figured he might enjoy a trip to the annual Grange fair near us this past weekend. When my wife asked if he wanted to go, she got a one word response on the keyboard, “Excited.”
So, Saturday morning, we packed up the camera and the keyboard he uses to communicate with and headed to the fair. (As experienced parents of a child with autism, we know to stay away from high traffic times like Friday and Saturday night or Sunday afternoon.)
First stop was the bunny rabbits. This one was clearly thrilled to see Clay.
Next up. a pair of oxen.
“Slow animals,” Clay typed. I don’t think their trainer is running any four-minute miles, either. Clay agreed.
We wandered through a barn filled with horses, and Clay reached out to touch some.
Then he spotted a John Deere bulldozer, one of his favorite items in the world. An elderly woman came over to see what we he was doing. She was driving a John Deere golf cart. Clay is not the only one with a love of the green and yellow.
We wandered from there to a barn filled with goats, sheep and pigs. After checking it out for awhile, Clay typed, “so alive.”
Then we saw a sheep being sheared. Reminded me a little of giving Clay a haircut. The sheep had the same expression Clay gets. But it was staying a lot more still.
What was Clay’s favorite animal so far?
Next stop was the arena where 4-H kids were showing off their prize cows. Clay found this amusing.
“They are funny,” he typed.
“Because they flogh.” We didn’t understand. My wife cleared it, and asked him to try again.
“Flop,” he typed.
“Yes,” he typed, laughing away.
“Ah, they flap their tails. You like the swishing.”
On the way to lunch, Clay spotted a huge Belgian horse.
Then we saw a t-shirt from the fair with a John Deere tractor on the front. Clay’s reaction when we bought it?
Finally, time to eat and do a little more typing.
This guy was pretty tall. Not sure where you buy jeans like that.
One more John Deere vehicle
On the way out, we spotted men setting up a massive chicken barbecue.
What did Clay think of all this?
“Fun day,” he typed.