This morning Mom and I took the kids to the National Cattle Congress, which just happens to be going on while we’re in town. We ignored most of the carnival-esque elements and headed straight for the barns to show Katherine the animals. It took a little time for her to relax, and she was pretty keen on being high up, in our arms, while examining the livestock, but when we asked her if she wanted to see more animals she gave us a vigorous nod. We surveyed cattle, goats, and pigs, and considered draft horses from a safe distance. Several times Katherine ordered me to touch the animals while she clung to my back. So I let calves and llamas lick my hands, and reached up high to pet the Clydesdale on the forehead. Katherine did, though, readily pet the chicks and even the rabbits. With a lot of coaxing she even pet a chocolate lab puppy. She was quick to spot the eggs in the chicken coop and in the peacock pen, and she learned a new animal noise: after watching the donkeys pester bystanders for quite awhile, she suddenly broke out into smiles, pointed, and said, “Hee-haww, hee-haww, he-haww.” Education at its best.