Farmgirl’s Best Friend Merit Badge, Beginner Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 7,504 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—10,886 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MJ

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life  

For this week’s Outpost/Farmgirl’s Best Friend Beginner Level Merit Badge, I had to stifle my excitement a little bit. You see, I have a habit of falling in love with every four-legged creature that comes my way. Hold your horses, girl!

Note to self: no horses. Settle down, Janey.

The requirements were clear, so I gave myself a stern talking to, and committed to staying firmly within the lines:

  • If you’ve never owned a pet before, explore the reasons why. Are you allergic? Did your parents not enjoy pets? Have you always lived in an apartment, or worked too many hours to care for one?
  • If you have had pets, think back to your favorite one.
  • If you could pick a pet, what would you choose and why? Research your choice and see if their temperament/availability/cost sway you to another choice. Remember, not all pets are dogs and cats. If you’re allergic to dander, maybe consider a lizard or some backyard chickens.

Well, I’ve clearly owned a pet or two or seventeen before, so the first column I could skip over. Uh oh, adhering to the rules was already becoming a problem …

The second requirement was more applicable. I waltzed down memory lane with all my furry pals …

My first pony, Rainbow Dash. A bit on the squat side for my long gams, she nevertheless fulfilled my need to have adventures of the equine sort. Of course, she was busy with her own life, what with being one of the oh-so popular My Little Pony franchise stars.

Then there was my beloved dog, Spotty McSpot Spots. Fluffy as could be, with long ears, and his own collar, he was three times the size of Rainbow Dash so I could ride him merrily along as my own personal horse. Don’t you miss the Pound Puppies?

Toys aside, I had to say my favorite pet was my family cow. She was a great listener, not to mention she guarded the backyard from intruders and gave us yummy milk.

If I could pick a pet, what would I choose and why? Wouldn’t it be easier to list the type of pet I wouldn’t want and why? Cuz that list is short:

  1. A rattlesnake.
  2. There is no #2.

But after many moments of deep thought, and several slices of apple pie, I came up with an intriguing possibility: an octopus.


1896, The Illustrated Police News, via Wikimedia Commons

Wait, wait, hear me out!

Did you know these fascinating facts about octopuses? Octopi? (I looked it up: it’s octopuses. You’re welcome.)

  • They eat their own arms if they get bored. Yikes! That seems a little overly dramatic, even for me.
  • They’re considered the smartest animals in the world, and the closest things to aliens we have here on earth. They’ve even been seen using tools! An octopus with his own home improvement show? Yes, please.
  • They’ve been seen opening child-proof bottles in mere minutes if you hide their snacks inside. I mean, I’ve been known to do some crazy stuff to get to my favorite trail mix, too.
  • They can change their entire body color in three-tenths of a second, in order to camouflage themselves. And we’re not just talking one color: they can take on the appearance of just about anything near them.
  • They have sadly short life spans. Unfortunately, they only live a few years, with some species (those typically sold at pet stores) only living for about six months.

That last fact made me decide to keep researching different animals. I just get too attached to lose my new BFF in that short a time.

Maybe a tortoise?

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I am also one of those folks who falls in love with animals……..except lizards, snakes, bugs and predatory fish. I am always looking for a little “buddy” to talk to and pet.. Big brown eyes and soft fur or feathers help a lot. However, I could easily fall in love with a dolphin too. The photo today of two of your sweet faced cows and a golden hen would be pals I would love to have.

    Speaking of cows, how is Miss Daisy?

    • MaryJane says:

      Miss Daisy is due in a couple of weeks, this time with a girl, little Buttercup (grandgirls picked out the name). She’s doing great! Everyone LOVES Miss Daisy–she’s A+ adorable.

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Oh my, I hope this baby arrives safely!! The Grandgirls selected a very sweet name for a baby girl calf. Please post a photo when she gets here and tell her that her Aunt Winnie is very happy to meet her. that Daisy is just totes adorb!

  3. Lisa Von Saunder says:

    I was allowed to have any pet animal at all as long as it wasnt a dog ( my mother had a traumatic near death experience with one) and well I took FULL advantage of that for sure. I had my share of kittens/cats. I also had a pet groundhog, various snakes ( that I caught myself in the woods)lots of field mice and shrews, turtles ( even the giant ones we had in the Seychelles, look just like the ones in the galapogos islands , only not the same) crows ( which I taught to talk) a baby raccoon ( although not for long -too destructive)

    I had a ferret, rabbits, tons of tropical fish ( freshwater and saltwater) Gosh the list goes on and on. ( I did have dogs later on when no longer living at home) I wont count the farm animals.Yes I have had an animal filled life.

  4. Karlyne says:

    Wow! Octopus trivia I needed to know! Except the eating their own arms part…

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