Cuddle Circle

Just a few minutes bike ride from our house in Zutphen is a combination playground and petting zoo that includes sheep, geese, ducks, a horse, a pig, a peacock, and many impossibly cute goats.


For 50 euro cents, you can buy food designated for either bird-type critters or rabbit/goat/sheep/horse-type critters. We distributed both.


On one of our visits, Theo and I were wandering when a we passed a woman pulling a wagon with rabbits inside, accompanied by a mini-parade of half a dozen children.

While it’s difficult to find people in the Netherlands who don’t speak excellent English, establishing ourselves as English-speakers in a subtle way can be difficult, since both “hello” and “hi” sound just like their Dutch equivalents. So, after we’d all said hello, the woman started speaking to Theo in Dutch. I didn’t want to interrupt, so I just nodded for a bit, until Theo broke in with, “I speak English.” (Theo isn’t very subtle.) The woman quickly switched over. “We are having an animal cuddle and song circle. Would you like to join?” Of course, our answer was yes.

Theo held and fed two guinea pigs and a rabbits. The second guinea pig peed on him. Oh well. It was still pretty awesome.