The Petting Zoo Goat

Anne skipped home after school, careful to not step on the cracks on the sidewalk. It was fun to pretend the cracks would grow and swallow her up if she stepped on them. Her mom held her hand but wasn’t walking fast enough. Anne was excited because they were going to the petting zoo!

“What kind of animals do they have there, Mom?” Anne asked. “Will they be friendly?”

“Yes, the animals are nice. They will come right up to you to say hello!” her mom said.

“Will they bite?” Anne asked.

“They might be curious, but they won’t mean to bite you,” her mom said. “But we’ll learn how to feed them, so they eat straight from your hands without taking a finger! Yum yum!” Her mom raised their held hands and pretended to eat Anne’s pointer finger.

“Stop!” Anne giggled. “My fingers aren’t for eating!”

***

There were lots of people and animals at the petting zoo. There was a large pen with wooden posts and a double gate with a latch to get in and out. There were two gates so that the animals stayed inside. Anne and her mom opened the first latch, then closed the gate. Then they opened the second gate and were met face to face with a hairy goat!

“Well, hello!” Anne said, surprised. The goat sniffed her head, and Anne could feel the hairs on her head move as the goat’s nostrils smelled the lilac shampoo from this morning.

Anne looked around, and she saw lots of animals! Goats, sheep, and a donkey! There were smaller animals too. She saw chickens, rabbits, and even a sleepy cat. There were many to choose from, but the goat smelling her head obviously needed her attention first.

“I think the goat wants to know if you have any carrots,” said a lady in overalls. She was the keeper of the animals, and she smiled at Anne. She handed her a carrot. “Be careful!”

Anne lay the carrot flat on her open palm. “Don’t curl your fingers! Hold still!” the lady instructed. The goat nosed to her hand and put its mouth down, and felt around for the carrot. The goat’s lips were funny! Anne patted its head, feeling the coarse hairs. They were wiry and stiff, not soft like her own hair.

“Did it like the snack?” she asked as the goat chewed noisily.

“Yes!” the lady laughed. “The goat is always hungry, though. So if you have more snacks, she will have another!”

Written for: Sample submission for Middle Grade writing style

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