A Trip to the Farm

“Hey Foster, check this out!”

panda climbing upI awoke to Panda’s voice and realized he was trying to climb into the rocking chair with me. “Dude!” I responded sleepily. “What happened to your fatigues?”panda climbing to chairPanda’s voice was muffled. “Mom thought they were getting too worn out so she made me some overalls while you were napping.”Dude!“Whoa, she did a good job!” I said when Panda got up beside me. “Is that a real pocket?” Panda nodded. “Yes, she thought we might like to take snacks next time we go on an adventure,” he replied. I couldn’t help laughing. “Looks like you’d have chicken feed in there. You look like you belong on a farm with those on!”in chair“Well,” Panda said. “That’s what I’ve been thinking too. Wouldn’t it be fun to go see a real farm?”  Just then I looked up and saw mom’s picture of her Swedish ancestors on the wall. “Hey, yeah…” I said, an idea forming in my mind. “Maybe we should go to Sweden and try to find the actual farm where the Petersons lived.”looking at PetersonsWe jumped down from the chair and went over to get a better view. “Looks like a typical Swedish farmhouse from the late 1800s,” Panda mused. “Do you think we’ll really be able to find it?” “Just study the picture as best you can,” I advised. “But we won’t know until we try, will we?” Panda agreed. “Let’s go to Sweden!” we exclaimed in unison.white tunnel 2 “Come on,” I said, “we’ll take the travel tunnel. I think Sweden will be too cold for our flying carpet.” tunnel in space smallBefore we knew it, we were spiraling through space!huskvarna sm“I think we’re almost there,” Panda said after awhile. “Isn’t that Huskvarna?” I shrugged. “I thought that was the brand of Mom’s sewing machine,” I offered. “But anyway that’s not where we’re going. How far do you think we are from all the farms?”landed by cows smBefore Panda could answer we landed with a thump in the middle of a beautiful, green pasture.  We were immediately surrounded by a group of extremely curious cows. “Wow!” one of them exclaimed in a deep voice. “Where did they come from?” The others mooed thoughtfully. “It seems like they fell out of the sky!” one of them ventured.  “Do you think they’re space aliens?”foster looking at cows smallIt took us a minute to get our bearings, but when we did, Panda immediately jumped up on one of the cows. “Hey, Foster!” he called down to me. “Maybe these are some of my long lost relatives! Do you see a resemblance?” “No!” I retorted. “Get down from there right now before you get hurt!” Panda complied. “You said the same thing about the zebras we saw when we were in Africa,” he mumbled. talking to cows apartsmIn answer to our questions, the black and white cows directed us to a neighboring field, where they said someone might know where to find the Peterson’s farmhouse. On the way, we met another group of cows. “Who are you?” one of them demanded, as another sniffed us warily. We introduced ourselves and told them what we were looking for. “Peterson, huh?” said the cow doubtfully. “Do you have any idea how many Petersons there are in Sweden?” We had to admit we did not. “Almost as many as there are Johnsons!” the cow laughed. “All I can say is, good luck with that!”looking down at farm small“Well they were no help,” Panda remarked as we continued walking. Finally we came to the top of a rolling hill where we looked down and saw a picturesque farm with quaint red and white buildings. “This could be it!” I exclaimed. “Let’s go see!” We decided it would be quicker to roll down the hill rather than walk.moose waking them up smApparently that wasn’t the best idea, because the next thing we knew, a huge fuzzy nose was sniffing us, and a low voice was saying “Hey guys! Are you okay? Wake up! Speak to me!” We blinked into the sunlight. “What happened?” Panda asked groggily. “I think you hit the bottom of the hill too hard,” the moose replied. “Are you hurt?” Panda stood up hesitantly. “I don’t think so,” he said. “What about you, Bro?” “I’m good,” I said. “Let’s go check out the farm!” We thanked the moose for waking us up and started toward the farm buildings.panda with gray barn smAs usual, Panda ran ahead of me and got there first. “Hurry up!” he called back to me impatiently. “Let’s go see if there are any chickens!”panda running off smOne thing I can say about Panda is that he really knows how to get around! I was out of breath just trying to keep up with him. “Dude, wait up!” I called, but to no avail. Panda was on a mission to find chickens. I decided to take what looked like a shortcut, and turned off to the left.hen warning smallI can’t really say I found the chickens. It’s more accurate to say they found me. And they did not look happy. “Who are you?” the head chicken demanded. “And what are you doing here? No one is allowed to pass through our territory.” For a moment all I could do was stare straight ahead. Then I heard Panda coming around a bend in the path. “Don’t worry, Foster!” he called. “I’ll take care of these guys!”panda talking to hen smallAs soon as Panda got closer I stepped aside. Panda approached the head chicken and introduced himself. “We came from the US to find the Peterson’s farmhouse,” he explained. The chicken eyed him suspiciously. “I’ve never seen a panda in overalls before,” he said. ” If you are a real panda, why are you wearing overalls? And is that a real pocket?” Panda wasn’t a bit scared, but continued speaking in measured tones. “Yes, it is,” he responded calmly. “I have these overalls on so I can carry things in my pocket,” The chicken was unimpressed. “Like what? What could a panda possibly need to carry around? Go away! You’re trespassing in our territory!”panda reasoning with hen smallPanda turned to face the chicken, and in a confidential voice he said, “I just so happen to have some chicken feed…” The chicken looked surprised. “Chicken feed?” he asked. “Why didn’t you say so? What kind is it?” Panda pulled the chicken feed out of his pocket and held it out for the chicken to examine. “We’ll take it,” the latter responded. “You can go. But just make sure you have more if you come through here again!” “Copy that,” Panda replied. “Come on Foster, let’s get out of here!”seeing rabbits smWe ran as fast as we could until we came to what looked like a rabbit hutch. We approached the window and three rabbits came to greet us. “You must be the cat and panda who are looking for the Peterson’s farm,” one of them said cheerily. “Yes, we are,” I replied. “But how did you know?” The rabbits laughed. “Word gets around fast here,” they said. “We heard about you from the chickens.” “Oh, that,” I responded. “Well do you know there we can find the farm?” Panda rummaged around in his pocket and produced some rabbit feed. “Thanks,” the rabbits said. As they munched, they gave us some pointers on how to get to what they thought might be the Peterson’s farm. We thanked them and went on our way.looking at reindeer smWe walked until we came upon a group of what we thought must be reindeer. They eyed us curiously. “Where are you going?” one of them asked. “We’re on our way to find the Peterson’s farmhouse,” Panda ventured. “Do you know where it is?” The reindeer shook his head. “No,” he replied, “but you’re almost to Stockholm. Why don’t you just go sightseeing since you’re here?” We thought that was a good idea, especially since we were starting to get hungry.coffee shop smallWe discovered an awesome bakery where we enjoyed a snack of Swedish pastries and strong coffee. Once energized, we continued on our way.foster looking at troll smallWe found a park where we saw a huge statue of a troll. “Help!” Panda cried. “I’ve been kidnapped!” “Get down!” I commanded. “That is not funny!” I had read Mom’s post “Under the Bridge” and this troll looked a lot meaner than the ones Mom played with as a child. Once I got Panda off the statue we continued our journey.bus ride 2 smWe got tired of walking, so we decided to take the subway into the city.night life smWe were just in time to check out the Stockholm night life. Everything was lit up and there were a lot of people milling around. No one seemed to notice us, so we were able to move about freely.ikea museum smThe next day we continued exploring. Who knew there was an Ikea musem? We both thought Mom would like all the bright colors in some of the displays. I was busy inspecting something on the wall, and when I turned around, Panda was gone! panda dancing smallWhen I finally found him, he was outside participating in a Swedish folk dance demonstration. “Panda!” I exclaimed. “What are you doing?” Panda waved from his place in the circle. “Swedish folk dancing is great exercise!” he answered. “You ought to try it!” There was no way I was going to dance out in public like that, so I waited patiently until the dance was over and Panda joined me again. “Come on,” I said. “Let’s go to the mall!”mall balcony smThe mall was amazing. We observed from the balcony on the top floor. “Don’t lean over too far,” I instructed, as Panda tried to get a better view. “Wow! This is as cool as the mall we saw in Paris,” Panda remarked, and I agreed. We didn’t really have time to shop, so we went down the escalator and continued our sightseeing.in boat smBesides the mall, one of the highlights of our trip was the ferry we took across the fjord. The weather was perfect, and since we’d had boating experience when we went on our cruise, they even let us drive for awhile. After the ferry ride, it occurred to us that Mom might be wondering where we were. We decided it was time to pick up our travel tunnel and head for home. It was while we were spiraling through space that Panda brought up an interesting question. in front of house“Hey Foster,” he began. “Do you remember when we were playing hide-and-seek and we found ourselves inside Mom’s old family pictures?” I nodded. “Yeah,” I replied. “That was super fun!” Panda took a deep breath. “Well, you know when we were in front of the Peterson’s farm house? Um…that was in Minnesota, not Sweden.” I stared at him. “Oh my word, you’re right!” I exclaimed. “No wonder we could never find the farm house!”nap on chair

Even though we didn’t find the Peterson’s farm, we still had a great time in Sweden.

10 thoughts on “A Trip to the Farm

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you liked the adventure…and the overalls. I made them because Foster plays so rough with him that he sometimes gets little holes in him 😬If you read my posts “Adventure Awaits” and “Basic Training,” you’ll see Panda in his “fatigues” 😀

  1. That’s brilliant, Debra. You are so spot on with the chicken behaviour! Those hens look an awful lot like my two big girls.
    I didn’t know there was an Ikea museum, what fun! I really miss IKEA, even if it’s only for the meatballs and cheap picture frames.
    Merry Christmas to you, Foster and Panda!

    1. Thanks! I didn’t really know chickens were like that but the ones in the picture sure looked it. 😋 We don’t have an Ikea nearby either, but I have been to one in San Diego and it was really cool. Merry Christmas to you guys too!

  2. Charlee: “Wow, what an adventure! I’m especially glad you got away from that terrifying troll!”
    Chaplin: “I always heard there were trolls on the Internet, but I had no idea they were that big.”

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