From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The view over the fence

Life in Christian County, Kentucky... The Rural Life...



Holsteins

These Holstein heifers belong to our Mennonite neighbor who has a dairy. The heifer pasture is just over the fence from our lawn, so these girls are part of what we see when we look out our living room window. We really do live out in the sticks.

I don't believe this neighbor's cows have ever got out of their pasture and come into our yard. However, when our other Mennonite neighbor was operating a dairy, his cows did escape and come to visit one Sunday morning. We came home from church and found our neighbors in their Sunday best, chasing cows out of our yard.

We weren't particularly upset. Honestly, if we were going to go nuts about an occasional cow in our yard, we wouldn't have moved to the country. The Holstein heifers in the photo are kept in bounds by an electric fence, and they stay right where they belong, but we know that accidents sometimes happen and cows sometimes get out.

Long ago (mid-1970's), when I was living in the country and keeping books at a propane company in the Missouri Ozarks, I got really irritated with a neighbor's livestock. In that case, it was a pair of white geese that kept coming to my house, eating my flowers, and leaving green manure all over my sidewalk.

This will sound like something out of the movie "Deliverance." I drove down to the neighbor's place to politely ask that the geese be kept penned up. The dwelling was an 8x16 foot trailer house with a lean-to tacked onto one side of it. There were no screens in the windows, and some rags of curtains moved in and out with the wind. A barefoot, pregnant girl about 18 years old came out to talk to me. I stated the reason I had come, and she said, "I know, I know. I can't keep the darned chickens out of the house either."

After that visit, I knew that nothing about the geese would change. And as I expected, they continued to come back day after day to eat every tender green thing they could find.

One day I came home from work, and I was consumed with fury when I saw what the geese had done to my vegetable garden. I ran one of them down, caught it, and stuffed it in a burlap sack. Then I repeated the process, put them in the trunk of my car and took them to a friend's farmpond about 50 miles away. Adrenaline does wonders. My dog was quite amazed at me.

3 comments:

heelers said...

I never fail to get a smile here.
I was long overdue a visit.
James

KennethF said...

Hey Gene:
I too am amazed! I read your post like you now list art pix and your word assembly is ... beautiful! Thanks for the visit and the bolg reader ref. back a few. I'm sure it will work as well for me.
Sincerely, KennethF

ps: My & my son's cubscouts graduation outing had a big problem with geese grease, too :+)!

Tudorw said...

I agree with Ken, yours writting is well crafted. I hope DSL or cable high speed comes your way soon.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.