Peeta the dairy cow stood in an enviable position.
With the temperature hovering near 90 Wednesday at the Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair, Lisa Cornman, of Rebersburg, hosed down the Holstein heifer outside the cattle barns.
Soap and water sluiced off Peeta’s flanks — not for any judges but just a daily shower. Peeta underwent the full beauty treatment before winning reserve junior champion at the fair for her owner, Caleb Swartz, 19, of Centre Hall.
This was just for appearance’s sake.
“Now, it’s mainly keeping her clean for the public,” said Cornman, who takes care of Peeta for Swartz on her Justa-Beauty Farm.
Peeta waited patiently while Cornman washed off bits of straw and manure. Maybe it even relaxed her. She certainly seemed calm making friends with an observing photographer.
“Watch your camera,” Cornman said. “She’ll try to lick it. She’s more dog than a cow.”
By the look in her eyes, one could swear Peeta was enjoying the moment.
“They love being in the stables in general,” Cornman said. “They get spoiled for a week. Everyone tells them how special they are.”
Skee ball pays off
Dylan Harter, 11, of Pleasant Gap, hurried along a fair street with his prize.
Tucked under his arm was a large blue dolphin pillow, the fruit of much skee-ball labor.
“I played $7 worth of quarters,” he said.
It was a historic score. Never before had he won such booty from a Grange Fair game or anywhere.
“I was like, ‘Holy cow!’ ” he said.
The dolphin might end up in his bedroom. In the meantime, Dylan knew where he was heading: back to the games later and maybe more good luck.
Hog wild at auction
Rat-a-tat-tat: The auctioneer at the Junior Livestock Auction spat out figures and words in rapid-fire fashion.
“Six and a quarter ... last call ... sold, $600,” he said, ending the bidding on a market hog.
Behind him, in the pens worked Kayla Kimble, 14, of Howard, and her mother, Lea Ann Kimble. They prepared Benelli, a crossbred boar, for the auction ring, brushing him and spraying water mist on the bulging sides that helped make him a fair reserve champion light heavyweight.
Earlier, another of Kayla’s hogs, Beretta, a reserve champion middleweight, sold for $650.
“I’m happy with whatever I get,” Kayla said. “It’s just a great opportunity to raise and show them.”
Since their births six months ago, she had been waking early to walk them, brushing and spraying them twice a day and otherwise caring for them.
“It’s a great experience in learning responsibility, in addition to the economics,” her mother said.
When it was his turn to be sold, Benelli outdid his stablemate, fetching $700. Like many young farmers, Kayla had mixed feelings seeing the beginning of the end for him.
“It is bittersweet,” she said. “It’s good to know they’ve had a good life and have been raised well.”