Friday, March 24, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 73rd Installment

the barn and put her in a stanchion. Russ spread the balm thick over the hole we had inflicted in poor Heidi and even tried to poke some Bag Balm into the hole. “That’s enough,” I said finally. “The Old Man will know what more we should do. Let’s leave Heidi here till they come home.”
Farm life is sometimes cruel to animals. We farm kids got to see this harshness close up and personal, and we’d had to develop a stiff emotional attitude.

When I was only seven or eight the old man shot the farm dog right in front of us because the dog was chasing the dairy cows! Harsh! But, as always, Vern made clear the reason why. “Dairy cows can be damaged if they’re run very hard. The cows make us a living; the dog doesn’t – end of story.”

Vern was right, I had to admit. That dog would chase the cow, and when he would get close enough, he would clamp his jaws onto the cow’s tail and plant his feet. The cow would drag the dog, dirt flying, until the dog lost his grip or slid into a hole or dyke and would take a tumble. One time he even took a backwards tumble when he went after the donkey. Oscar, our donkey, was too smart for this dog, and when the pooch got close and was reaching for the donkey’s tail, Oscar kicked back hard catching the dog square in the snout. The dog did a full backwards summersault with the force of the blow, lit on its feet, and then took a full head over heels forward tumble.

The longest living dog on the farm was Bowser who lasted about three years. When we took him hunting with us, we’d tie a cable around his neck and the other end tied to the drawbar of the tractor so he wouldn’t run out ahead of us. Well, once, the dog decided to run ahead anyway and started to pass on the right as we were going full speed down the dirt road. The cable caught on the tire tread of the back tire and went around taking up the slack and on the second revolution, came tight and swung the dog in a high arc slamming him to the ground. We slid to a stop and baled off to check on Bowser. He was just laying there with his tongue lolling and his eyes all bugged out because the cable had become so tight. We loosened the cable and took it off. Luckily, Bowser snapped back to life, scrambled back to his feet, and looked at us as if saying “Whoa! That was fun!”
Then there was the white duck I won at the Mud Lake Fair and rodeo. That duck was dumber than a bag of rocks. It ran around the yard with the cats and the dog, playing and eating out of the slop dish with

500 more words tomorrow

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