Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ivan's Eclogue

Here's Ivan who fled the slash-and-grab of Our Nation's Capitol for bucolic idleness on an Alabama farm:
...I had my grandson to help. We et dinner (that’s lunch elsewhere in the USA), went out and fed the sheep and goats and lambs and baby goats, checked the barn, then got two 1500 rolls of hay loaded on another fellow’ one ton truck to bring to a Pakistani friend of mine because he is out of hay for his animals, which includes a huge menagerie and a cow he hopes will be a milk cow on about a two acre lot. We managed to get the rolls of hay rolled off the bed of the truck much to the joy of the kids there without them rolling over any of the kids, then headed to a little farm on Slaughter Pen Road which is on the Tennessee side of Ardmore – a border town in Alabama and Tennessee. The people there had some khatadin-dorper cross sheep and I needed a new ram because I sold my old ram a couple of Sundays ago to a Guatamalen family trying to get in the sheep breeding business. I needed to change rams because I didn’t want inbreeding problems. But the people did not have a catch pen they did not have a place to pen up their little flock so you could grab one and manhandle him into the cage we had put on the back of the truck. Grandson and I did a lot of pasture strolling herding the sheep toward the owner but they’d break and run as soon as they saw the rope in his hands. Finally, the fellow’s wife came out with a special pan of goodies and the sheep came over to feed. The owner grabbed, caught a leg, grandson caught a leg, another fellow caught a leg, I caught a leg and we had the young ram – which probably weighs at least 100 pounds. He was born last April. I brought the truck around and all of us got him in the cage. Getting him unloaded was no problem. I drove the truck into my catch-feeding pen and opened the cage gate. He saw the dozens of ewes out there, all of them his when breeding season starts in late August, and he leaped out. I opened the gate into the barn lot and he trotted in. it was like the ewes had told him “you da man.”  It was getting dark then so I fed the dogs, including two great Pyrenees that weight about 90 pounds each, fed the barn cats (7), made sure the chickens (45) roost door was open, and went to the house. On a farm that’s considered a successful day – everything got done.
 In your face, Publius Vergilius Maro.  

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