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The Geese

When I was a boy my parents used to send my brother and I off to work on my grandparents farm every summer. It was lots of fun. Picking up rocks in the fields, pulling thistles taller than I was, shoveling the manure out of the cow barn and pig stys. Rising with the dawn to feed the chickens and gather the eggs. Baling hay and straw and storing them in in the dusty, stifling lofts. Soybeans were the worst, they were dropped into the grainery through a hole in the roof and we had to shovel them into all the corners until it was full. More stifling than the hay loft.
One of the worst job was castrating the hogs. They did it with every new litter. My brother and I had to chase them around the yard and catch them and hand them off to an uncle who would hold them while grandpa cut their balls off a knife. We then spashed them with motor oil to prevent infection and turn them into another pen. Yeah, I had a lot of fun every summer for six years. There are a few funny memories. Like the time when a big rainstorm sent our pigeon cage tumbling across the yard. Grandma ordered my uncle Joe to catch it and get it under cover. He came back n after doing it, very wet and very mad. He threw me in the horse trough the next day. Another time I walked under a low hanging wire that brushed my brow and over my head. My uncle couldn't believe it and said that was a live wire, electrified. So he grabbed hold of wire and let out a big yowl. It was hot sure enough, I guess my sneakers kept me from being shocked. Grandpa kept a small flock of Canadian Geese around the place. He felt they were better security than a dog and made more noise. One morning we woke and the geese were gone. A drive around the fields located them in neighbors beans. We were sent out to retrieve them. Ever try to corral a 25 lb.goose? It's no job for a kid, let me tell you. But by running around the flock and waving our arms wildly we finally got them head in the right direction, back toward the farm. God I hated those geese. I stopped going to the farm when I was 14. I got a job then and there were younger brothers and cousins to take our jobs. It was hard work to be sure, It made me stronger wiser in many ways.
PinksWoman PinksWoman 61-65, T Sep 22, 2012

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