Some History by Robert Grosz (pg. 15)

    Singer was disturbed. He stomped out to the barn, like this was in January. Temperatures slide outta sight. Old Singer went to the barn, piled up the hay, put a blanket on it and slept there like a babe in the manger. Continued to do so too. All the stock was in the barn so it was not terribly cold and besides he didn't have to wade snow to get to the morning's work.

    He was a clyptomaniac. He took all the pots, pans, dishes, silverware, you name it, out of the house and always put it in the medicine cabinet in the horse stable, right behind the fift of four roses. So Singer would carry the stuff down, Dad would carry it back. Handles wore out just in transporting. Singer seemed to be unusually happy in the mornings. Dad suspected he was hitting a bottle but careful scouting failed to turn up any bottle. Besides it had gone on long enough that any bottle he had must be all gone by now. Besides how could he afford booze?

    He had a whole container of it, I mean 12 feet across and 30 feet high. The silo, you guessed it. Singer had bored a hole in the silo and stuck a length of pipe in it and every morning he had half a can of corn squeezins. And I said he was dumb?

    There were always cougars around a farm. Like the strand of rolled up horse hair underneath the tobacco in Homer's pipe. Does wonders for a corncob pipe. Eeegad. Or dried thistles under the sheets of your bed, a Ruthie and Dorothy trick. Ya find thistles for days, well, nights on end a wee bit of cat manure on the inside of the barn door handle or on a pitch fork handle. Makes one all giggly.

    Speaking of cats, we had a bunch, 27 at one time, but they came and went. One way they went was that they would get close to a cow to keep warm ... cow rolled over, one mashed cat ... more fertilizer. Somehow cats never became a favorite pet of mine.

    Dogs, we had some. Patsy's Irish Bum was one. She was a registered Irish Setter and of the kind that still had some sense and hunting instincts, even at 14 years old, she went ga ga when a gun came out. We have had to stop the wagon and go back to flush the bird when she pointed. Durn fool, would stand there for hours if we didn't.

    Then there was Shep, all farms have at least one Shep. He was mine and somehow around a farm, if ya see the boy, the dogs there too.

    And Teddy. Nasty little pup about three months old when we got him, ready to fight or bite anyone or anything. He mellowed but was always somehow aloof. He caught a half grown rabbit one day and was gnawing it in an area visible from the road. One of the local gung-ho game wardens gave my Dad a ticket ($10.00) for "running his dog out of season." For the next three years we had every farm in the area posted with no hunting signs till the local sportsman club finally had the game warden fired. The signs came down. During the time however, we decided we were not going to be nice guys and obey all hunting rules. I mean, if the pheasants attacked those cows, we were gonna protect them. Did you know pheasant is good to eat in the summer too?

    The pig pen had a run adjacent to it and the fence was boards and woven wire. Those hogs just wouldn't stay in even with rings in their noses. They'd root out a hole and off they'd go. Solution, electric fencing. So we put up two stands of wire, one about four to six inches off the ground, the other about twelve inches. Bill Stotler and I, decided to lure an old sow to the fence just to see her get bit and squeal. We tied an ear of corn to the wire with baling wire and waited. She touched the corn and got shocked. She looked weird corn! Its usually good. I'll try again, Zap! "Well one more time". Whappo, that old girl then turned slowly around and with a look of utter distain, peed on the ear of corn. I hardly know how to describe the resulting scene. Her first scream was ear splitting and got louder there after and the evacuation of her bladder got on her, on the pen roof, on the trees and some went into a medium orbit. I mean, she just flat lost control.

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