Chronicles of The Farm Woman: Boys on the farm

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Summertime always brings a procession of small boys to the farm.  Here often in two or three weeks they must try to make up for a lifetime of denial of the natural pursuits of child-hood.

The combination slippery slide, trapeze and ladder gleaming in its coat of red and silver in a town back yard may be the envy of country cousins.  But where is the ten-year-old in town who would not eagerly exchange it for a haymow, a windmill and a pony?

The boy who may be a sleepy-head at home rises at six o’clock on the farm without being called and accompanies the hired man to the milking.  The infor-mation he has gleaned at the end of the third day is astounding even to himself.  “I never did know I could learn so much in three days,” he comments.  And then he reviews his new found knowledge.  A voluntary review is the key to retention of learning as any school ma’am will tell you.

This lad can tell you how many pigeons are setting in the barn, how many eggs the barn swallow has in her nest and where the turtle dove is nesting.  He knows the milk cows and the horses by name and what their daily diet is.  He has made a friend of the saddle horse and scarcely bounces any more as he rides.  The saddle horse always seems to welcome visiting admirers.  A boy and a dog and a horse are a natural combination.

The only thing about the farm routine that bothers at all is that one cannot go to sleep at night.  The tree frogs get tuned up about the time the lights go out and they make so much noise it disturbs this child accustomed to the noises of the city.  Not a word is said but probably this bedtime hour may also bring thoughts of mother and father and the familiar things at home.  However with the call of the mocking bird and the meadow lark he is up to find what the new day has in store.

Always boys come for four or five summers.  Then the time comes when the farm no longer has the same allure.  The pigeons and the tree house suddenly belong to an age of the past.  More likely there is the urge to get a job and the job at the soda fountain or the grocery store keeps him in town.

Or it may be that some sweet young thing has entered the picture.  The sixteen year olds seldom come to the farm.

However there is a procession of small boys who come and keep us entertained with their discoveries and observations.

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