Made-up stuff

How I entertain myself, sometimes.


Four perspectives on the Raven’s Brooke Farm Pumpkin Patch Extravaganza


Do you know what my grandma – god rest her soul – would think about us paying $30 to climb on a stack of hay bales, see some goats, and “pick” a pumpkin that’s already been cut from the vine? Don’t ask. She grew up on a farm. She didn’t think of it as any kind of tourist attraction.

It’s for the kids, I remind myself. For the kids.  We wandered around for over an hour in the corn maze until Spencer was crying about how we’d be lost forever.  Jagger does whatever Spencer does, so then he was crying too. Even my wife starting looking around like we might not make it out. After fifteen minutes of that crap, I grabbed both kids up on my shoulders and just started walking toward the sound of parents yelling at their kids, mowing down stalks on the way. We got out fine.

Now I watch Jagger and Spencer play in the Lil’ Farmers Zone, a ten foot fenced in square filled with play gyms shaped like tractors, swings that descend from giant ears of corn, and a million screaming toddlers.  It’s like being at Chuck E Cheese without the alcohol to drown out the noise.

Damn, it’s hot. Standing right out here in the sun, and not a lick of shade in sight. I wipe my brow with my shirtsleeve, and wish not for the first time for something to drink. But they’re charging $4 for water over at the food tent.  That’s a crock. I’m sure as hell not paying that.

I look around and take it all in. The animal pens. The hay ride. The corn field. The pumpkin patch. I could do this, you know? Have a giant garden that’s an attraction. I’d do better than goats and turkeys. I’d add chickens and horses and why not a couple camels? And I’d sell beer at mine. After following his kid up and down the steps of Fort Raven a couple times, every father in this place would trade his child for just a sip of PBR. I could charge $10 a can.



Making memories is so important to Jamie and me. Wandering idly through the corn maze. Bumping along on the hayride. Picking out just the right pumpkin. Feeding those silly goats. These are the kinds of things Spencer and Jagger will remember and treasure for the rest of their lives.  It’s so sweet of Jamie to bring us here on his only day off this week. But I know he loves doing it.

I try to soak up every second of this gloriously sunny day. It’s just so wonderful here. A light breeze carries fall leaves to the ground, and it’s just the right temperature for a blouse and jeans.

Spencer and Jagger are having the time of their lives in the Lil’ Farmer’s Zone. Laughing and shrieking without a care in the world. There’s nowhere Jamie and I would rather be than watching these beautiful children play.

Oh goodness will you look at this? Oh my goodness. Would you look at that? Two of the turkeys from the Animal Barn must have gotten loose. They’ve just wandered into the Lil’ Farmer’s Zone. This is perfect! This is absolutely perfect!

The kids need hands-on learning experiences like these, and right in time for Thanksgiving next month. Jamie and I believe it’s so important for kids to know where their food comes from, you know?



I’m driving this tractor. I’M DRIVING THIS TRACTOR! Jagger wants to drive this tractor, but I’m the one driving this tractor. Go away Jagger! Go swing on the corns!

Jagger doesn’t know the things that I know, like how to drive a tractor and when to ask mommy for something because daddy will say “not today, pal.”

Jagger is grabbing my leg. JAGGER STOP. Jagger is pointing. What is he pointing at? Wait! It’s two giant ducks! I love ducks! These ducks are ugly, but they sure are big. These are the biggest, ugliest ducks I have ever seen. They have weird old lady skin hanging from their chins like my grandma only way more skin than she has.

Jagger! Let’s go get the ducks and pet them and keep them for pets at our house. Come on, Jagger! Jagger can never move as fast as I want Jagger to move. I run for the ducks.



The day of our dreams has finally arrived. We are beyond the fence. We are escaped. We have been planning and plotting and making a break for it every time one of the Two Legs comes near to the gate. Today we savor our success. Every previous attempt has been worth this moment. This is sweet freedom and it tastes amazing. Also, much sustenance is scattered around the grass in this, the field beyond. It is delicious as well. Here, we walk as we will. We are no longer confined by wooden posts and criss-crossed wires. We are no longer forced to live with the vile, bearded mutts. We shudder to think of their disgusting cries, and their shameless pandering to the Two Legs for the brown foodstuffs delivered in their open palms.

Now we walk proudly with the tiny Two Legs among their plastic diversions. Hello tiny Two Legs, we shout to them. We are one with you now. They respond in their own language. We seem to have made contact.

But what’s this now? Signs of aggression? They approach us. They move slowly at first, in hopes of tricking us into submission. They are not fooling us. We see the bloodlust in their eyes. Suddenly, they advance with speed. We scatter, but our exit is hampered by oversized ears of corn and false farm equipment. They grab at us, unrelenting. They pull our wings and tear our feathers. The agony! It is torture unlike anything we have yet experienced. We can do nothing but turn back or perish.

Let us back in! Let us back in! Jesus God, open the gate!!!

StoryLaura Rees