For some reason, this word brings back plenty of memories where I was dirty. Ya see, I grew up on a farm. There was always work that had to be done. Animals needed to be fed. Manure had to be cleaned out from under the barn porch. New straw had to be put down during the winter to help keep the cows warm.

Pigs were chased in the dark after they dug themselves out of their pens. That night was a whole lot of fun. NOT! Trying to locate pigs in the dark using flashlights was not fun at all.

My siblings and I took turns feeding the cows and pigs. Well, on this particular Saturday morning, (during the winter thaw) it was my turn to feed. Dad was sitting at the table and he told me to wait for him. He was going to help me. I went on outside by myself. I fed the hogs. By the time I was done with them, Dad had not come out. I waited for a bit, playing the little bit of snow that had not melted. Well, I grew impatient waiting for Dad.

So, I decided to go ahead and feed the cows. I walked down the trough to the other end to open the door where the hay was to go out of. I opened the door and found all the cows staring at me. There was muck everywhere. The cows were surrounding the hay ring. Now, I was never really intimidated by the cows until I was chased by one that had horns. The bull we had was an enormous animal, as well.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I just cut the twine strings off the bales. I threw the hay right there in the mud and muck. A little voice said shame on me for not doing the job the correct way. I was a bit nervous about wading through the muck dragging hay bales with me. I would have had to make numerous trips. By this time, I was getting cold. After I had thrown the last bit of hay into the muck, who decides to show up? Dad! I had just closed the door and turned around. Dad was walking toward me. I was suddenly feeling very nervous. He saw what I had done. He told me in no uncertain terms to go back into the house.

I guess I really wasn’t chased by a cow. More like stormed toward me. I had the job of watching the gate. We were separating the cows and calves. Dad had decided to put a bell on one of the cows. We could hear where the cows were when the bell rang from around the cow’s neck. Anyway, the cow he chose had horns. As soon as that cow heard the bell, she was scared. She literally jumped out of the pen she had been in. She pawed the ground and saw me standing at the gate. She rushed toward me. All I heard was Laurie get out of the way! I jumped the gate and turned around. By the time, I had turned around the cow’s horns were sticking through the gate. In the same spot that I had just been standing. Talk about shaky! I don’t think I’ve ever moved so fast in my entire life.

There was a stream running in the back of our barn. I remember playing in it once or twice.  Yes, we were told not to play in it. Did we listen? No, of course not. We took our shoes off and played in the water. Now, the cows used that stream for drinking and such. We didn’t care. It was a hot summer day and we wanted to cool off. Dad caught us and yelled at us. We grabbed our shoes and ran across the rocks snickering.

Dad had a small pond put in out in the pastures. The cows needed water out there. We were given strict orders to stay out of the water. We were warned that there could be deadly snakes in the water. I don’t know if that was true or not. We did not listen. It was another hot summer day. Me and my siblings decided to check out the pond. We took off our shoes and waded into the water. It felt wonderful. The water was murky and not clear at all. We could not see our feet through the muddy water.

We had been throwing water on each other having a good ole time. We suddenly heard splashing going on. It wasn’t coming from us. We looked around and saw the bull coming toward us. I screamed, grabbed my shoes and took off. Apparently, the bull didn’t like sharing his watering hole with us. That was the only time we played in the pond. We arrived back at the house dripping wet. Mom just looked at us and shook her head. She didn’t want to know what we had been up to.

I hated cleaning out the pig pens. Scooping the manure and scraping the concert clean. Nasty! By the time the job was complete, we smelled of hog manure. Nothing is worse, though, than chicken poop. Now, there is some nasty smelling stuff. I had to clean out my grandparents chicken house. It was not a pleasant job.

May your day be filled with tons of sunshine!

Laurie Jackson



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