Did you know that there are people who are deathly afraid of cows and horses? Goats, sheep, and pigs fill others with terror.
Remember, each time a person with a phobia is confronted by what he or she fears, there are physical reactions. Dread, nausea, or breathlessness overcomes him. He sweats excessively and possibly loses the ability to think or speak clearly. Loss of control and excessive anger are also liable to occur. The individual could also experience a full-blown anxiety attack and detachment from reality.
Never make fun of someone who has a phobia. For this person, the terror is real. But you can make use of phobias by using them in your writing.
If one just stayed away from farm animals, I guess that being afflicted with this particular animal phobia wouldn’t be too bad. But have you ever tried to stay away from all animals? Even if one lives in the city and has no pets, there are birds that fly around. Stray dogs and cats are in every city across the country.
There are even stray horses. Once my neighbor’s horse got out of his stall and ended up in my front yard. Lucky for me I’m not afflicted with hippophobia, fear of horses.
Writing prompt: What if I did struggle with hippophobia? How would I have reacted when I looked out my front door and saw a horse eating the grass in my front yard? How would I have ensured that the horse went back to where he belonged? Write a short story telling how someone with this phobia would deal with such a situation.
Someone who is afflicted with bovinophobia has an unnatural fear of cows. This fear could possibly come from having a terrifying experience with a cow. Maybe the individual was chased by a cow or steer as a youngster. Maybe he saw a cow attack someone and hurt the individual seriously or kill him. The person may never have even seen a real cow, but just be afraid that one will chase or hurt him.
Writing prompt: Maurice grew up on a cow farm and suffers from bovinophobia. As soon as Maurice turned 18, he moved off the farm. His dad has tried everything he can possibly think of to get Maurice to at least come and visit him, but has not had any luck. The cows are how he makes his living, so he cannot get rid of them. One day Maurice gets a phone call from his aunt. She informs him that his dad is seriously injured and his only request before he dies is that Maurice, his only son, come and see him one more time. What happened to cause Maurice to be so deathly afraid of cows? Does Maurice go visit his dad? Was his dad seriously injured, or was it all a trick?
I could not find a name for fear of goats. Since the scientific name for a goat is capra hircus, the name for fear of goats should be capraphobia. The main reason I have read that people have a phobia of goats is because of the blank stare that they give you. As a previous goat owner, I have a bit of trouble understanding this one. My goats were rather sweet animals.
Writing prompt: Delores is a kindergarten teacher. The parents of one of her students own a petting zoo and have practically begged her to bring the entire class to visit the zoo. After being asked half a dozen times, she decides to quit putting it off and take the class to the petting zoo. What harm could happen at a petting zoo? Maybe there aren’t even goats at this one. The zoo does have goats and she freezes up. Which one of her students goes to her assistance and helps her to get over her phobia?
Almost every farm has a pig or two. If the farmer was afflicted with swinophobia, I’m sure he would find a valid reason not to have any pigs on his farm. Pigs are cute when they are little, but not so cute when they grow up. I can understand someone being afraid of a hog. They are huge and will eat just about anything, including dead bodies.
Season 4, episodes 25 and 26 taught me a lot about pigs and just how terrifying they can be. These two episodes are two of the most upsetting ones I’ve seen from Criminal Minds so far, but they are so worth watching. Someone could have watched “To Hell and Back” and developed a fear of swine from it. I would not recommend that anyone who has swinophobia watch these episodes.
Writing prompt: Andy, afflicted with swinophobia, works for Farmer Joe. He has always done everything Farmer Joe has asked of him, until one day the farmer brings home half a dozen pigs. Andy cleans up after goats, sheep, horses, cows, and chickens. He wants absolutely nothing to do with the pigs. Why not? Does his job survive?
What other farm animals do people have unrealistic phobias of? Ovinophobia is the fear of sheep. I wonder, could a person be so phobic of sheep that he or she would even be afraid of items made from wool?
Writing prompt: Play around with the nursery rhyme “Mary had a little lamb”. A little lamb doesn’t follow her to school each day because she is deathly afraid of sheep and lambs. But this little lamb has been watching her. One day this little lamb begins following her and terrifies her. Why is the lamb following her every day? Now write a story detailing how she deals with this lamb.