Finally got a little drink of H2O here at Damphewmore Acres. It wuz enuf to sprout some of my spring forage plots. Some parts of the country got more than 2 inches of rain and, while that amount would have been better, I’m thankful for the 6-tenths of an inch of rain we got. Plus, the forecast is for 50-60 percent chance of more moisture each of the next three days. Hope that happens.
I had a real funny story, a true one, told to me at this week’s Old Boar’s Breakfast in the former Toledo Township school in Saffordville. After breakfast, I wuz visiting with one of the attendees who is informally dubbed as the group’s “local historian.”
We were discussing some of the metal items that have recently emerged from the soil here at home and he told me that he had acquired a metal detector not long ago and wuz still in the process of learning to use it.
He then chuckled and said he knew of a local spot, not far from his current home, that he planned to search with his metal detector because he thought he might actually find a gold coin or two at the location.
When I asked him why he thought he’d find gold there, he told me this story:
When he was a young man, he took his aging grandfather for a Sunday afternoon drive to get the oldster some fresh air. When they drove by one pleasant, shady spot by a little creek, the grandfather pointed and said, “that’s where the ‘cat-wagon’ camp was located when I was a youngster in the early 1900s.”
Then the old gentleman went on, “back in those days, the railroads in the county and the hired hands on the local farms and ranches always got paid their weekly wages on Friday night. So, on Friday afternoon, local ladies of the night drove their horse teams and wagons to that location and set up camp to be ready over the weekend to relieve the railroaders and local hands of some of their week’s wages.”
My friend hopes that he can use his metal detector to perhaps find a gold coin or two that may have jostled through a crack in the floor of one of those “cat-wagons.”
And, I hope he does, too, because that will be another story for this column.
My Missouri buddy, ol’ Canby Handy, came down for the first time for the Old Boar’s Breakfast. After breakfast and after I’d done my chores, we got a call from our mutual friend, ol’ Lon G. Horner, to help him move a herd of his Longhorn cattle diagonally across a gravel road intersection.
He said all he needed wuz for us to stand in the road aways from the intersection and keep the baby calves from missing the pasture gate. We readily agreed to help and arrived on the scene about the same time as the cows and calves.
Canby located east of the crossing and I positioned myself in the road north.
Just as the gate got opened and the old cows stated moseying across to the new pasture, my cell phone rang. It wuz Saul M. Reeder, but it took me a few distracted moments to unzip my hoodie, unsnap my overall pocket, and answer the phone.
But, that’s when this story turned ugly for me. I became so intent on talking on my call phone that I stood right in the middle of the road and let two baby calves stroll right by me along the fence.
By the time I realized what happened, it wuz too late in two ways: too late for me to turn back the calves and WAY too late to avoid becoming the butt of friendly verbal abuse all the rest of the afternoon.
The real clinker wuz when ol’ Lon told me “I could have set an empty 5-gallon bucket in the middle of the road that did a better job herding cattle than you did.”
Sadly, I had to agree with him. I had no excuse except for getting old and easily distracted from the job at hand. But, at least, I put a smile on the faces of all three old friends when we spent the afternoon playing seven-point cutthroat pitch.
Two old hens hatched chicks here more than a month ago. They have been roaming outside during the day for at least three weeks and the chicks have outgrown their mamas — but still persisted in trying to get the hens to brood them.
Well, the white hen finally got enuf of her youngster’s pestering and last night she abandoned them in the brooder house and made herself back at home on the roost in the main chicken house.
I guess I’ll take the hint and move the other hen and all the chicks to the big chicken house this evening. They’re ready for independent living.
And, I’m ready to close this column for the week because I want to do some independent living for the next three days with old Iowa friends, the Pegan D. Rayes, They’re on their way back to Iowa from their winter home in Arizona. We’ve got a lot of gabbing, fishing, and card playing to catch up on.
So, until next week, I’ll close with these wise words about independent living from philosopher John Locke, who said, “All mankind … being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his live, health, liberty or possessions.”
I’d agree with that “Locke,” stock and barrel. Have a good ‘un.