Tag Archives: farmer

2029. A day on the river

(The opening sentence for this story was suggested by Yvonne of Hello World. If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future opening sentence for these stories, please leave your suggestion in the comments – only one suggestion per person!)

“I’ll really have to think about your offer,” said Alida.

Alida and her boyfriend, Braxton, had spent the day in sunshine gently rowing up and down the weeping-willowed city river in a punt. Braxton was a farmer and a day in town didn’t exactly involve shopping but an activity that communed a little more with Nature.

It had been a lovely day and Alida had packed a picnic lunch which they had on a blanket on the river bank, half of the bread going to the local ducks. Then it was back to the rowing. Well! Almost rowing! It was more floating in the boat along with the gentle river flow.

The day was drawing to a close. Braxton had asked and Alida had replied with “I’ll really have to think about your offer.”

To be honest, her reply took Braxton by surprise. He was expecting an immediate “Yes!” Every farming boy would’ve thought so, wouldn’t you? Especially after the blissful day they had just had. Perhaps she never heard right. Braxton repeated the question.

“I’ve just killed a cattle beast for the freezer and wondered if you wanted any liver?”

“I’ll really have to think about your offal,” said Alida. She was joking of course. She loved everything a future farmer’s wife dutifully should. “YES!” she exclaimed. “Yes, Braxton, yes!” They kissed.

2024. A couple of cows and a few pigs

When Frank bought his little farmlet (big enough for a couple of cows and a few pigs and room to pursue his special hobby of growing asparagus) he never warmed to the guy who sold it to him. Harvey was the previous owner’s name. Harvey had lived alone, made stupid blunt observations, and couldn’t even crack a smile at any of Frank’s little break-the-ice jokes.

What Harvey clearly needed was a wife to moderate his bluntness and turn him into a human being. (Sorry if that sounds sexist but it works both ways). Having a wife and a few kids might have softened his edges a bit. Anyway, he was single and that was that. On the other hand, Frank was married but with no kids. His wife had certainly made him more open to other points of view. In fact, he had learned over a few years to agree with absolutely everybody about absolutely everything – and especially to agree with his wife. Oh! She could make life a living hell if he disagreed with her.

The small farm (apart from a rather attractive post-card cottage) had a hay barn and a garden shed. The hay barn was filled with hay bales. The hay would last Frank with his couple of cows for two or three years…

It was now his second year on the farm and things were going well with Frank. He would have to get more hay because it neared the end of the supply. Just six hay bales left. And then he noticed…

Sticking out the end of one of the bales were a couple of partly decomposed leg bones wearing bright blue stiletto heels.

That gave Frank an idea.

1845. To find someone nice

Destiny said she didn’t marry her husband’s job; she married her husband. Quite frankly, she hated her husband’s job; cows, cows, cows. All he did every morning was milk cows. All he did every afternoon was milk cows. Was there ever time off?

Roman was doing his best. He’d grown up on a dairy farm. Dairy farming was all he knew. He’d worked hard throughout his teens. His father left Roman the farm. He built a special house on it for his widowed mother. He met and married Destiny. That was about his life.

Destiny didn’t merely love Roman; she fell in love with the prestigiousness of his habitation. How wonderful to live on a farm! How wonderful to have all this space! A house! A garden! Some chickens! A pet calf for the children when children came along! Fresh milk! All her friends married labourers of one sort or another; plumbers, carpenters, truck drivers. They lived in hovels in town. She lived in a mansion; more of a manor. She alone had married into proper bliss.

Can’t you take some time off so we can get away? asked Destiny.

The cows can’t not be milked.

Pay someone else to do it.

We can’t afford to do that yet.

Since a while Roman’s mother cooked one decent meal a day and brought it over. Destiny has gone off somewhere in pursuit of happiness. It’s all over. Roman wished he could get out sometimes and perhaps meet someone nice. If only he could find someone to milk the cows say one night a week.

Success! He found Ned Burton’s daughter from up the road to milk the cows on Thursdays. Betty knew the ropes; she was brought up on a farm. In fact, Betty helped milk the cows twice a day every day of the week. And on his day off Roman would give her a hand to milk. He didn’t need to look too far to find someone nice.

1783. Soup and toast

Heidi asked her big brother, Edmund, why they hung the sticky fly paper from the kitchen ceiling. It was covered with flies. The summer had been a bad year for flies.

Edmund explained that when the sticky flypaper was taken down, it could be immersed in boiling water, and made into a delicious soup. All it took was the fly paper covered in flies, some hot water, and some pepper and salt. Then once it had been thoroughly boiled for about ten minutes the fly paper was removed and discarded. If there were too many large blowflies in the soup then the mixture could be briefly pureed. But generally speaking with the small flies it didn’t greatly matter.

That evening, Heidi said she would cook, and she had soup on the menu; soup and toast.

“I didn’t make the fly soup like Edmund suggested,” said Heidi, “because I knew it wasn’t true. Instead I made some soup out of zucchinis that I cooked and pureed. But for Edmund I made a separate dish.”

She placed the special plate of soup in front of Edmund. There was nothing wrong with it of course. It was the same as everyone else’s. But Edmund wouldn’t eat it. He just ate a bit of toast.

1487. Make hay while the sun shines

When farmer Murdoch McCook threw his third wife, Delores, into the hay baler, she came out inside a bale more perfectly than Murdoch could ever have hoped. She was seamlessly encased in the hay bale with only a few strands of her dark hair from the top of her head poking out. Murdoch cut the hair off with an old pair of twine scissors.

He then placed the hay bale containing his third wife at the very bottom of the hay barn, and then stacked all the other hay bales over and around it. He wouldn’t see that bale again until the end of the cold season when all the hay had been fed to the cattle throughout the winter.

It was a perfect murder. No detective was going to think of moving a thousand hay bales to discover a body. And even when the hay bale in question was exposed, there was nothing to say his third wife was inside. Apart from the smell. But by the end of winter the smell would have dissipated. And at the height of the stink, the covering bales would mute the stench.

At last farmer Murdoch McCook was free to invite the lovely Claire Louise into his life. And indeed he did. She moved in with farmer Murdoch and began life on the farm.

How quickly time passes. It was soon hay making season again. Farmer Murdoch arranged a space in the barn for a new bale to sit next to the remaining three.

954. African Dung Beetle

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What a furore! It was in all the papers. Farmers wanted to introduce the African Dung Beetle to the country.

“There’s too much cow shit lying about,” said Farmer Harry. “It can’t decompose fast enough. The cow poo needs a helping hand, and the African Dung Beetle is just what the doctor ordered. It’s just the ticket. It’s almost too good to be true.”

The members of Gaea, the Mother Earth Society, were up in arms.

“The introduction of a foreign species will cause irreparable harm to the balance of the environment. For starters, it will increase the amount of methane floating into the stratosphere.”

The Government intervened. They set up a Commission to investigate the pros and cons of introducing the African Dung Beetle. Farmer Harry was appointed chairperson.

“Farmer Harry is a farmer,” protested Gaea, the Mother Earth Society. “He is in favour of the introduction of the African Dung Beetle. There’s no chance in hell he could be objective.”

So the Government appointed Ms Brasilia Bojovic-Hogwood to be the chairperson of the Commission. She was the Founding President of Gaea, the Mother Earth Society.

Gaea, the Mother Earth Society’s members were delighted.

“At last!” they said, “some objectivity can be brought into the discussion.”

904. Farmer Jack

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Jack was a practical man. Being a practical man meant that his dear wife was forever asking him to do things: mend the gate, dig a new garden, pave a path, put in a fish pond… Anyway, they needed a new fence because the cow had got through the rickety old fence and eaten Mrs Jack’s roses.

“We need a new fence,” said Mrs Jack. Jack thought about it and decided that the new fence would need six posts, so he needed six postholes. He hitched the trailer up to the back of his tractor and headed for town.

He went to the wholesalers and asked for six postholes.

“Sure,” they said. “What size?”

“Big ones,” said Jack.

Six big postholes were loaded onto the back of Jack’s trailer and off he set for home. The road was bumpy and half way home Jack looked and noticed that a couple of post holes had fallen off the back of the trailer.

Jack back-backed to try and find them. He backed into one of the holes, and has never been seen since.