Monday, December 21, 2009

Farm adventures

I grew up in the city but my aunt lived on a farm.  It was 100 miles from our home, a big distance in my mind.

I remember her house smelling of cardamon.  I think it was part of pickling and canning.

One day when I was about 4, she asked me to carry a large crockery bowl to the pig pen and dump the contents in the trough for the pigs to eat.  The bowl and its contents were heavy and as I tipped them to dump into the slot in the fence for the trough, the bowl slipped out of my hands.  The bowl fell down into the trough and broke into several pieces.  The hungry hogs rushed to the food and jammed their snouts into the slops, tearing and cutting themselves on the broken pottery.  I immediately felt this was a world-class disaster.  I started yelling and screaming.  My aunt and uncle came running from the house to see what calamity had befallen me.  When they found they out, they assured me that the pigs would be fine and everything was all right.  I was amazed at the toughness of the beasts and the idea that they didn't need any special care for their wounds.

Another time, my cousin and I lay on the bed of a horse wagon out in the sun.  We each had glasses of water, little paint sets, paintbrushes and coloring books to paint.  It was pleasant.  My aunt called us into lunch.  We got up leaving everything where it was to resume later.  After lunch, we returned.  We were shocked that every bit of the paint was gone from our paint sets.  Everything was in place as we had left it but for the paints.  We were perplexed and went to our aunt.  She came out and looked the situation over and said the chickens had pecked our paint sets away.

My uncle was a beer and soft drink distributor but my cousin and I did not understand that.  Looking at the enormous stacks of cases of empty bottles gave us an idea for amusement.  Each of us took several bottles between the fingers of each hand and smashed the other ends against rocks.  What fun!  The sound alerted my uncle who came charging out of the house and let us know he was not pleased with our idea.  He informed us we needed to stop immediately and never pull that stunt again.  He seemed upset but I have forgotten all about that now.

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