Remember how my BFF Mags and I went to Sweden while we were in a post-master’s-thesis haze? And we had all sorts of bizarre conversations that made no sense whatsoever? And then we got totally lost in a folk park?

That amazing folk park is called Skansen. It’s in Stockholm, and it’s HUGE.

Just a small piece of the park's map.
Just a small piece of the park’s map.

Sure, sure, we couldn’t read the map and got lost and thought we would never leave. That definitely happened. But by far, my favourite thing that happened was when we started to see signs that read, “Swedish Animals.”

“Oh cool,” I said to Margaret, “I wonder what kinds of animals they have!”

Margaret scanned the map. “It doesn’t say anything specifically. I’m so intrigued!”

We started to follow the signs, dreaming about the cool Scandinavian animals we were about to see for the first – and maybe only – time in our lives. Would the Swedish have their own special breed of cow, like the Scottish Highland Cow?* What kinds of crazy species live up north that we have never heard about in the USA and Canada?

Our anticipation built.

(The park was really big, so we had to walk a lot, so we had lots of time to get super excited and anxious about these cool animals.)

Our anticipation built some more.

Then we turned the corner to the first animal enclosure in Skansen and saw…

A BIZARRE FOREIGN SPECIES.
A BIZARRE FOREIGN SPECIES.

Margaret and I exchanged a look, and then started laughing maniacally. I’m certain that everyone walking by thought we were on mushrooms.

(Maybe we were.)**

GUINEA PIGS!

Then we walked a little further and saw…

A FASCINATING CREATURE.
A FASCINATING CREATURE.

REGULAR PIGS!***

Also on the list:

  • Horses
  • Reindeer
  • Cows
  • Seals
  • Wolverines
  • Other Stuff

But I guess we can’t really hold it against Skansen. The signs were telling the truth.

That’s when I learned that yeah, wherever animals – like people – are born, that’s the kind of animal they are.

I’m gonna go cuddle my Canadian dogs now.

xA

*A.K.A. THE CUTEST EVER.

**We weren’t…

***Funny story about the pigs. Margaret reached down to pet that very pig and when she did, all hell broke loose. The pig behind it jumped onto our friend the pig and started humping her/him ferociously.

Margaret’s genius split-second reaction?

“Oh! It’s time for lovin’!!!”

And then we ran away to give them some privacy.

Pigs, am I right?

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