Cutes all around

A common thread can be found weaving through the outings we took during our recent visit to Kiel, Germany.* We went for walks with our daughter Liebling and son-in-law Chiquito in several different settings, including a petting zoo, the greenhouses of a botanical garden, and the beach along the fjord. Each walk provided us with a different version of cute. You might say we found cute in varieties animal, vegetable and mineral.

Before I spread some pictures before you, I’ll point you toward an article that puts forward a theory for why we sometimes want to squeeze cute things.

First for animal cuteness. (I readily acknowledge that the pictures can’t adequately capture the cuteness of the in-person [in-animal?] experience. If that’s disappointing, there’s a big internet of cute animals out there to address any unmet needs.)




A little goat in mid-jump, hoping to get a treat


Baby boars have cool stripes along their sides.

The boar cuteness was mostly behavioral–they chased each other around in a way that made us laugh, and then they all piled on top of Dad, which made us laugh more.


Liebling had a way with the donkeys:





We also met some miniature sheep. The baby of a miniature sheep is not much bigger than a shoe, which Liebling kindly included to give you a sense of scale.



All the animals were interested in getting some kibble.






Perhaps more comical than cute, but this llama definitely makes an impression.


It was an extremely cold day, and the chickens were puffed out as feathered balls to keep themselves warm.


A few of the cute animals were actually photographed during our outing to the greenhouses at the botanical gardens. Turtles in stacks are always fun.



And this last one you’ll have to take my word on, as we couldn’t get close enough to get a great picture. These are little quails that are the natural pest control strategy in one of the greenhouses.



Now for cuteness of the vegetable variety:



With these it’s clear that cute is not synonymous with cuddly.






Finger included for scale



I’m classifying these last pictures as mineral cuteness, given their composition, though they have animals to thank for their formation.









Of course, not all the pictures from our latest Germany trip were of cuteness. But I’ll save those for another day. Do you have a weakness for a particular kind of cute?


*In truth there were two other common threads that didn’t result in sharable photographs. These were impressive cold weather (in the single Celsius digits–30s in Fahrenheit–which feels awfully cold when you’re doing a lot of walking around outside) and plentiful delicious food. Our son-in-law Chiquito is a great cook, and served us many interesting meals. I latch onto the things I’m unfamiliar with or can’t get elsewhere, like a salad featuring pre-teen salted herring (the dish is called Matjes Nach Hausfrauenart, or “young herring in the style of the housewife”) as well as savory dumplings made using dried up heels of bread (Semmelkn√∂del). They’re so good that you’d want to leave bread out deliberately to have the fixings on hand.

[Images: Yours Truly and Loquita]

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