Ferreting Around For Some Good Parenting

, , , , | Hopeless | July 6, 2017

(I often take my very tame, very friendly female ferret out on her lead to get some fresh air. I mostly get a lot of strange looks but for some reason people with small children act like ferrets are awful, vicious creatures that carry all kinds of disease. On my walk one day a young woman is walking along with a little girl, about three years old. I brace myself for the worst.)

Girl: “Mummy! Mummy, what’s that animal?!”

Girl’s Mother: *laughing* “That’s a ferret, sweetie!”

Girl: “Awwww, so cute!”

(I pause for a moment a few steps away from them, mostly out of shock, and a little bit because I’m used to people wanting to skirt me and my ferret in the street.)

Girl: “Can I pat it, mummy? So cuuuuuute!”

Girl’s Mother: “Remember we don’t touch other people’s pets without asking; they might get scared, or they might not like kids.”

Me: *still slightly stunned* “This one does. She plays with my nephews all the time. She can pat her if she wants to.”

Girl’s Mother: “Oh, thank you!”

(The mother kneels down and keeps telling her daughter, “Now, gentle! Don’t scare her; nice and soft,” and stopping her daughter from touching my ferrets face. The little girl is over the moon and incredibly sweet and gentle, giggling like crazy as my loveable lump of a ferret sniffs her and revels in the attention.)

Girl’s Mother: “Thank you so much. She LOVES animals.”

Me: “It’s no problem at all. Most parents yank their kids away like my ferret might set them on fire.”

Girl’s Mother: *screws up face* “How stupid! Our guinea pig has probably bitten more people than this little guy.”

(After a quick chat I learned they’d just moved in up the street from me and they were walking to the park down the block. Almost every afternoon for the next several months we met up along the same patch of sidewalk and the little girl would pat my ferret, and the mum and I would chat for a bit. When my ferret finally passed away last month of old age, they met up with me the next day with a card and a box of chocolates, and an adorable drawing of my ferret done by my tiny toddler friend. All it took was one person realising my ferret was not a danger to her kid for me to gain two wonderful friends.)