Thursday, July 26, 2012

Farm Capers

All day today there has been a buzzing in my mind. I've determined that is a bombardment of a swarm of memories that was stirred up yesterday shortly after writing about my dad's occupation in the 40's. 
Oh, incidentally, have you ever stuffed a gob of honeybee comb in your mouth and sucked out the honey... then chomped the leftover crumbs into a wad of waxy chewing stuff? I have.

Two particular episodes (true tales) include my brother who was three years younger than I and joined my explorations around the farm when dad was gathering his milk samples in the cow barn. I especially remember standing in front of a large cage that was raised up on "stilts" high from the ground containing many turkeys. We would both go right up to the cage, flap our "wings" and shout, "Gobble! Gobble! Gobble!" at them. It was a pure lesson of action and reaction. The whole flock replied "Gobble! Gobble! GOBBLE" right back at us. Someone came through the barnyard to see what the commotion was and we were chewed out to quit stirring the flock.  The other memory is one that I'm able to put down here because I'm lucky. Innocent, but alive. We played hide and seek throughout the barns and it was great fun because there were so many neat places to hide. I once got my hide tanned by dad for hiding in the silo! I loved the smell of silage fermenting and almost stayed too long. If it weren't for the farmer entering from the main floor of the barn (that's how I got in) to poke a pitchfork back where it was kept, he wouldn't have seen me there. My brother couldn't find me and gave up just before I was discovered. A lesson about silo gasses was sternly given to both of to NEVER go into a silo.

Many farms had horses, both riding and working. The horse barns were where I usually could be found when it was time to leave. One farm in particular was my favorite because of the horses and I always made a beeline to see them first with my package of "Charm" hard candy to pass out to each one. The groom there was a bent over older Scottish man. He made me feel welcome as I pummeled him with questions regarding the horses, tack, tools, and everything I found there. During one visit, no one was around and there was a large and very handsome new horse in the large end stall. He let me pet his nose and took my candy delicately. I boldly opened the stall latch, entered, and sat down in a corner under the corner feed tub. I was reaching up and feeding hay to him by hand when "Scottie" returned. He noticed the stall not latched and looked in and saw me. His gasp and stunned expression immediately conveyed to me that I should not have been in there! Later, after his impending heart attack faded away, he sat me down on a trunk in the hallway and strongly reprimanded me, "Missy, don't ever go into a stall again without me giving you permission." Then he went on to explain that the horse in the stall I had entered was a new stud horse and was vicious in nature. He was known to kick and bite! Only the breeding handlers were allowed to work with him. WHAT!! He was a pussycat with me, never exhibited any form of a threat and I knew enough horse body language to feel safe with him. I've always wondered about that episode. Of course I was only a little girl of about 10 at the time so didn't exhibit any danger to him either, did I?  "Scotty" never told my dad so I was "home-free" on that caper.


  1. I really enjoy reading about your memories!

  2. Couldn't you have been buried with grain in the silo?

    I have never eaten honey from a honeycomb....haven't had honey since I was a small child.

    Horses are like dogs in that they can sense fear, isn't that right?

  3. I love this story as I also enjoyed being around horses as a kid.