Stories from Farfrae Farm

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An Eccentric Hobby, Part Three

Earlier this month we got a call from the not-so-eccentric grandson down in Wessex.

The entire collection of Japanese animals had been re-homed with the exception of three - would we be willing to take them?

Of course we would! We drove to the airport early this morning to pick up our trio of crates.

They were very quiet on the drive home, but as soon as we unloaded in the yard and they caught the smell of the other animals, a chorus of chirps and barks began to rise from the metal boxes.

Albino isn't an uncommon mutation - many species seem to have their white oddities, and the tanuki isn't an exception.

Cearan Mhoire Yukimatsuri was born on the Wessex estate and grew up with our tanuki twins.

Yuki likely wouldn't have survived long in the wild as his coat makes him more visible to predators, including fur-hunting humans who have long been known to favour unusual pelts.

Much like the wall-sized Lisa Frank unicorn poster your well-meaning great aunt bought you last year because she knew you "loved ponies", the parents of this pair of Chinese red pandas were given to the eccentric gentleman by a friend for his "Asian collection". It's probably best not to inquire about the details of their importation.

While red pandas are generally solitary outside of mating season, these two love the company of each other and their tanuki roommates.

They've been handled by humans since birth and are as docile and sociable as a pair of big cats. They've been leash trained and are often allowed out of their pen for a change of scenery.

Cearan Mhoire Bā​ Lōu is rather timid and prefers to let his brother or one of the tanuki check things out first.

He loves belly rubs and playing with the squeeky ball. But most of all he loves to eat!

Cearan Mhoire Char Siu Bao is the most dominant of all our Asian animals.

He gets first go at feeding time, first pick of the nesting baskets, and nobody messes with his rope tug if they know what's good for them.