I have a lot of miniature farm animals.
Yeah, I know.
I’m not talking about unique hand painted, carved wood or charming vintage varieties. I love all of those too, I just can’t afford them. 😦
No, I’m talking about the mass produced little plastic guys that are typically sold at the drug store in bags of ten or twelve. You know, sorta like those green army men, but cows. And sheep. And chickens too.
Usually the largest animal in the bag isn’t much over an inch high and the scale of the lot isn’t accurate at all.
In fact, the warped size ratio in each group is one of the things that intrigues me most.
Take, for example, this scary rabbit and his similar sized horsey sidekicks.
These animals aren’t worth anything, but I’ve been fascinated with them for years. When I see them, I buy them.
And darn those Target dollar bins. Bags of plastic farm animals are standard quick-fill to make up for holiday stock depletion. What defense do I have against that?
I go there to pick up cat food or paper towels and bam! Right when I walk in the door, I hear an imaginary cluck or moo or whinny and suddenly, I’m on the farm.
Last week I picked out three packages. That’s twelve animals each, thirty-six total.
There are different figures in each bag, so I couldn’t possibly get just one.
I resisted the little plastic silo, barn and farmhouse in the adjoining bin, but I might have to go back and get those too. 🙂
The animals vary greatly from lot to lot.
I’m not so particular that I would ever hesitate to get them, but I do prefer those well made enough to stand up on their own. (No leaning, please. :))
The animals I bought this time are great – no wobblers.
Okay, so you’re probably wondering what the heck I do with dozens of miniature plastic farm animals. I confess, so far, I have only collected them, and not in any organized fashion.
I keep most of them in this little wooden box that I painted. (I remembered a bird like this from a children’s book I saw somewhere. If you know the book, please tell me its name!)
I am convinced these animals are meant to serve some artistic or therapeutic purpose in my life. Truly, some of them have already been useful. The pigs, mostly.
I bought my very first teeny plastic pigs about twenty years ago in a little cafe and novelty shop in Santa Rosa. It was a wonderful place (closed now – insert heavy sigh).
If you ordered hot tea, you would likely be served in a beautiful antique china cup with a price on it’s foot. Everything was for sale and there were bins of charming little trinkets all around. Like pigs. They had a bucket of miniature pigs.
I bought ten and a little plastic box to keep them in. I didn’t have a reason. It was a compulsion then as much as it is now.
The little pig box is always in my purse. On occasion, particularly when someone is upset, or sick or depressed about something, the pigs come out to serve their purpose.
They’re my emergency pigs and I don’t dole them out casually. In twenty years, I’ve given away only seven of the original bunch.
Here are the remaining three.
A few years ago, I found more teeny porkers at a great little Mexican folk art store in Pasadena. Naturally, I replenished my emergency supply. 🙂
My pigs are different though. They’re smaller than the animals in the bagged sets I typically see, so they’re really special to me.
I have purchased other single animals here and there and I do have some larger items as well, but it’s the little guys that really get me.
Yes, I definitely have a lot of miniature plastic farm animals.
Oh, and I just came back from Target. I bought two more bags…and the little silo and barn buildings too.
Okay now, write a comment and tell me something YOU collect.