Every season from Victoria Day to Labour Day, they open a petting zoo at Queen’s Park here in New Westminster. There is something about animals and kids that just go together. They have a bond. Or at least, a fascination with animals seems to be a primal impulse among children.
The thing I notice about the Girl is that she identifies with furry creatures, and even a few scaly ones. I’ve talked about her intense love for her cats here on a number of occasions, for instance. For a while, animals were perceived as mobile stuffies. Now, I think she’s reached a point where she wonders what it must be like for animals. I think she wonders how they experience the world.
I often wonder what a child’s fascination with animals indicates. Maybe it’s a primal impulse to situate ourselves into nature, to connect with it, and to find some kind of context for ourselves as a part of a species, and then an ecosystem.
What I can see in The Girl’s interest in animals is mostly about nurturing and the ability to express that impulse. Animals draw a certain kind of affection out from her. I don’t think she’s unique in this. This could certainly be observed in the behaviours of the other children who were there that day.
Well, maybe not the kids who loudly shouted “EEEEWWWWWW” whenever one of the goat’s pooed …