Reading another Blogger's entry this morning - a fellow Upper Midwesterner that also grew up on a farm - she was talking about birds and animals that they had on the farm. Her entry brought to mind some of the things that I remember about being "little" on the farm. I wish I had time to go through some old pictures that I have and post them for you as I'm sure you'd get a chuckle out of them. But I just don't this morning. I shouldn't even be taking the time to write this entry, but sometimes you just need to do fun, relaxing things, and that's where I'm at today.
I was only about 4 when we moved off the farm, which was located in central North Dakota, so I don't remember a lot, but some things are very vivid.
My mother used to raise chickens, not only to eat and to have fresh eggs, but she sold chickens and eggs too. You've heard of "egg money" I'm sure. Times were tough back then. I'm older than dirt, you know, so I can legitimately say the words "Back in MY day." Anyway, egg money was frequently used to buy groceries, staples that you didn't grow in your garden or on your farm. At least that's what my Mom used to tell me.
My mother had this flock of chickens and of course every flock of chickens had to have a rooster or two. Mom had one that truly thought he was the Cock of the Walk and tried to prove it to me every time I would go outside. It's difficult for a 4 year old to intimidate a big rooster that's coming at you full force with spurs on his feet and loaded for bear because he thinks you're coming after his harem or to pick his prospective young. This one would have been a good candidate for one of those fighting chicken rings!
One day my Mother had just had enough of this overbearing monster and thought she would fix him good. She was taking some hens to town to sell and grabbed him too. It was time for one of the younger roosters to take over being King of the Hill and she was tired of me not going out to play because of this dumb bird. I vividly remember all those chickens riding in the cages in the back of the pickup truck clucking and cackling with feathers blowing out all the way to town. We got to town, made the transaction, I got an ice cream cone and after finishing our shopping we went home.
I remember being so excited to be able to go outside and play without being attacked by this mean old rooster. When we got home I hopped out of the car and who should come around the corner where he had been laying in wait for me? You guessed it - that mean old rooster. Mom had grabbed the wrong one! Needless to say, she got ahold of him somehow by the feet, wings flapping, all kinds of crowing and screeching coming out of his throat and put him in a crate. The next day my Dad took him to town and I didn't have to deal with old crower anymore. I bet he was a stringy old thing when he came out of someone's cooking pot!
My Dad also raised pigs. They were the ones that were pink in the front and back and black in the middle. I don't have the foggiest idea what breed they were - I wasn't into that kind of stuff when I was 4. Pigs alway have large litters and one spring there were little piglets running all over. The pig pen was such that the momma pigs and daddy pigs couldn't get out, but the piglets could squeeze through the rails and ran all over the farm for fun. They really were cute and quite friendly unlike the parent pigs who could get pretty mean.
By the time they were a few months old they were the perfect size for riding bareback. I had one in particular that didn't mind at all, in fact I kind of think he/she enjoyed it. This little guy would follow me around the farm. One day Big Brother and I decided to play cowboys and indians and he showed me how to hop on the pig. From that day forward I rode regularly. One night we had a heavy rainstorm and the next day there were a lot of puddles in the yard. Well, you know that pigs love to root around and roll in the mud and that's exactly what my pig buddy did after I hopped on. He headed for the best mud puddle he could find and lay down, me with him, and we rolled in the mud. Needless to say my Mother wasn't too happy with me that day and that kind of put an end to my pig riding.
Mom also raised ducks. One spring there was a batch of ducks that hatched and then the mother either disappeared or died or something. I don't remember. All the ducks in that batch did their duck things with the exception of one. I don't know if the other ducks ostrasized him or what, but the little duckling took to hanging around the back door. It didn't take long before he became my pet. Baby ducklings are so cute when they're all fuzzy and yellow, but that stage doesn't last long. Pretty soon this duckling turned into a full grown duck and got too heavy for me to carry around. That's when he decided to latch onto my pant legs and lay down on the ground. He had figured out that if you were trying to walk with this "ball and chain" attached to your leg, you would soon pick him up and carry him. He would do this to everyone, even strangers that came into our yard. I don't remember what happened to him but I do remember how cute he was, even as a big duck.
Well, that's my story for today - now I must get busy. Lots of cleaning and wedding stuff to accomplish today. Lovely Daughter and I have finished the place cards, have begun the programs, but I haven't finished cleaning yet. Will hopefully accomplish that today. May will be here shortly to finish the alterations on the dress for Lars' mother (it's so beautiful).