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I recently watched a show on National Geographic about sound (called Welcome to Earth on Disney + hosted by Will Smith). I learned so much, such as sound travels more quickly through solids than liquids or gases, explaining why early pioneers put their ear to the ground to listen and identify if someone was approaching. I also learned the loudest animal on earth is the sperm whale, which really surprised me having heard many animals throughout my life. I related to this show because of all the sounds I hear around the farm on a daily basis. Because of the time I spend with the residents, I can identify who is making the sound and what they are saying to me, like parents understanding the language spoken by their baby. The donkeys all have a unique bray, which usually means the same thing - “can I have a treat please?!”. In actuality, most of the sounds I hear are the resident’s wanting food whether they are hungry or not. The hens make a very unique sound after laying an egg like they are very proud of themselves and carry on for a while with loud clucking. Fredrick the smaller blind steer has a very unique moo; it is very soft and polite as opposed to Maggie and Penny whose moo’s have a more demanding, urgent tone. Yang has always neighed to greet people which I have always found sweet and endearing while Yin is the quieter of the two minis. The pigs have several different sounds and get very excited when it is feeding time. They have cute little oinky grunts when they see me coming but make a huge squeal when someone gets out of line and is ‘corrected’ for having poor manners. The goats usually only ‘talk’ when they are begging for food, which is just about always! One very distinct unmistakable sound occurs when one of the baby goats gets their head stuck in the fence with their horns. It is a sharp, panicked constant cry sounding similar to a human baby. The sheep, much like the goats, tend to make a lot of noise when they think there is a possibility of food. They will stand by the fence and cry out to be fed, always! Unfortunately for me, I have a soft spot in my heart and fall for this starvation act quite frequently with all the residents, especially in the colder winters and dormant grass. Baby lamb Winter has a specific cry when he loses sight of his mom Olive and gets hungry. Olive used to call back to make him aware of her location but doesn’t anymore. Now when Winter cries out for mom, she lets him figure it out and he always does. Sound is a truly amazing subject that I never gave much thought and used to take for granted, but now I am aware of the power of all that sound can portray and am fascinated!

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