Life in the Big Backyard

As a child growing up I loved books. And then as an adult, my love for children's books continued as I taught elementary school for many years. As a small child I loved the book called Put Me in the Zoo written by Robert Lopshire. In the story there’s a leopard that keeps changing the color of his spots so he can fit in with the different animals at the zoo. What he discovers is that he should be somewhere special. 

It’s funny how in life we do the same thing. We all try to fit in with people or groups who are like ourselves. This is a wonderful thing as we need to learn how to get along with the others in our world but along the way towards the Emerald City, we want to remember that we are all unique. We all have different wants and needs. No two creatures are alike or should be.
Take for example the array of little munchkins I have in my backyard.

We’ll start with Sugar. She is the Princess, the Queen of our home and yard, our beautiful white lab. She’s a tad older now and gets around pretty slow but she is the ruler of what goes on.

Enter Bear. Little Boy Wonder, Little Boy Blue, Little Prince Charming… and trouble too. But he’s so dang cute no one cares when he causes a little trouble.

Now throw in a few woodland creatures and you have yourself a backyard party! You can only imagine the joy and excitement that goes on from morning till night in the yard. Our yard backs up to an enormous park with several lakes and the Dommel River. We have at least 3 fat bunnies that playfully out run the dogs causing them to dash in and out of the bushes and flowers. We’ve only had one death when Sugar accidently caught a baby bunny. She only meant to say “Tag, you’re it” but somehow that didn’t work out for her.

They’ve DE feathered a few fine friends, but that’s only when one accidently fly’s into their mouths after they’ve jumped up to say hi.

We have pheasants that enjoy life here. They are pretty fast little runners and can also fly over the fence if feeling threatened by the Prince and Princess. But Oh what a delight they are to see. They are beautiful!

And just on the other side of the fence lives the ducks and the swans. They haven’t wandered into the yard yet and I’m sure they’re smart enough not to.


I’m not sure if Sugar and Bear are trying to change their spots so they can fit in with the different families of animals that live in our yard or if they are following the yellow brick road and going after their own unique desires and 
wishes. But like so many children’s books, they sure are endearing and entertaining and full of life lessons and oh so fun to watch. 

We’re not in Kansas anymore and we’re not in a zoo, but life in Holland for Bear and Sugar is GREAT! When this wonderful journey is over they can click their little paws together and say “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”


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