Friday, April 8, 2011

Summers On Grandpa's Farm

Ahhh...I love this time of year. The days are getting longer and warmer. The birds are chirping, as are the crickets at night. My neighbor's farm is a symphony of frogs every night now too.

This has got me thinking of the warmest days ahead as we make our way towards summer. It also has me remembering the summers when I would visit my granddaddy's farm.

Grandpa raised all sorts of animals. Chickens, pigs, goats, and of course some cattle too. He wasn't a big scale farmer or nothin', mainly just enough animals to feed the family and to sell some meat to the neighbors every once in a while.

I loved helping out on that farm. I would go fetch eggs for grandma, as well as feed the other animals when they'd let me. One day I even got to visit the cows in the barn.

It was about 5:00 in the morning and I was up early. I knew Grandpa didn't get up until 5:30 or so. I thought I'd surprise the family at breakfast so I pulled on my boots and my hat, grabbed a bucket and a stool, and headed out the door. I was gonna milk my first cow! I had seen Grandpa do it a hundred times. He would reach for an udder and gently squeeze and tug until the warm milk would spring from the cow. He made it look so easy I just knew I could do it!

I snuck into the dark barn, barely making out the shapes of the animals. I could hear the goats and pigs chattering as if in an early morning debate over who would run first in the barnyard. Then I heard the bell on Grandpa's prized milking cow.

I felt my way around the barn, too excited to grab the lantern, and headed towards "Old Faithful" as Grandpa called her. As I slid into the stall, I felt for the cow's rear and sat my stool down gently as not to startle her. I gently reached for an udder and slowly squeezed and pulled just like Grandpa showed me. I bet I went through the milking motions for 45 minutes or so when a light came on in the barn.

"What the heck are you doing???", yelled Grandpa. Just then I saw "Old Faithful" walk by me...I was sitting under Grandpa's bull...

Grandpa said he was gonna change the bull's name to "Old Faithful II" since that stupid bull wouldn't quit following me around the barnyard the rest of the summer. That was the last summer I spent on the farm. I went to camp after that.   Stupid bull...

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