Chapter 20

OPENING DAY AT THE PETTING FARM

It was a bright sunny day when the doors opened to Aunty Bei's Petting Farm. The first group of visitors marched along the path to meet us. I felt so proud.

A long fenced area contained cows, buffaloes, a pair of goats and some chickens. With the bad weather, it had been a rush to get everything ready in time. Dad and Ronny had only half-built the 'Happy Pigs' hut.

TT ch20 v01 slinHorses were tacked up ready for rides. Children raced around, pulling their parents from this animal to that. Goats jumped from rock to rock. Chickens rooted among the pebbles for grain. Buffaloes loped up and down carrying the world on their shoulders.

Cows chewed the cud and snoozed.

'All we need now is a panda,' joked Mrs Potts, handing out leaflets about how to adopt rescued pets.

Ronny was barbecuing sausages for five dollars each. All proceeds would to go the Save the Pink Dolphin Fund. I gave him all my twenty dollars.

'We thought he was the dangerous convict,' I told Dad, in between dunking my sausage in ketchup. 'Silly us.'

'Are you sure he's gone?' Dad asked.

Tan Tan's uncle looked puzzled.

I explained. The cave man was an overstayer who'd flown in from the Philippines to help his mother. She was a helper. She'd fallen sick and nearly died after an operation. He wanted to take her back but she wasn't well enough to travel until yesterday. His visa expired so he had to hide somewhere or he would have been deported.

'We visited him every day for a week,' I added.

'He ate like a horse,' said Tan Tan.

'Ah! Is that where my Chinese sausages went?' asked Uncle, poking Tan Tan's ribs.

Tan Tan blushed. 'He did love sausages,' he said.

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