If I could talk to the animals

CNS reporter Mark Pattison and photographer Bob Roller are traveling through Iowa and Minnesota this week for a series of stories on rural America.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Perhaps I was driving down the wrong highways and roads in Iowa, but I expected to see far more farm animals within view of my car than I did. Iowa is a rich agricultural state, so crops may take precedence. Still, I was a bit sad not to have seen more moo cows and horsies.

I can remember being driven into rural areas on family trips, and there would be no shortage of cows and horses. Lucky was the one of us three kids who got the right window in the back seat of the car. We would low like cattle, neigh like horses, bray like donkeys and so on, naively thinking that as our Ford Falcon zipped by them at 60 mph, the beasts would understand our attempts at talking to them, lift up their heads in recognition, and maybe even follow us along the fence line until our car had sped out of sight.

There is a wonder in childhood that is too easily buried by the time we grow up.

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