Farm Life

lexhorsefarm.jpg  Farm Life in Durango As a farm girl I got to do and see a lot of interesting stuff. Actually I really didn’t have a choice. I had to do chores, just like the older boys and girls, though of course since I was so much younger my chores were a lot easier. Every Monday we would have laundry day, and since the old colony Mennonites weren’t as technically advanced as they are now, everything was done by hand. So my special job was to collect all the dirty laundry from every bedroom and carry it outside in a large straw basket. I cheated though; I dragged the basket out!Other chores included things like helping with the dishes after lunch or supper, or helping sweep and wash the floors every Saturday. One of my favorite chores was helping feed the farm animals. I remember how I used to stand up on a fence and just start talking to the animals. Okay, not so much to the pigs and the chickens, I thought the pigs were just downright rude and the chickens were ignorant and kept interrupting me.Out of all the farm animals, the horses were my favorite. I love the way their ears would turn towards me every time I said some thing, or the way their dark brown eyes watched me. To me, the horses were the perfect companions; they were always ready and willing to listen, no matter how ridiculous something was.While I had a favorite farm animal, I also had one I was absolutely terrified of… the bull. One day when I was about six, my mother asked me to let the cattle into the field to graze. I didn’t ask any questions, I just went and did as I was told. I walked through the mud in my old brown rubber boots, and opened the big iron gate that led into the pastures. Then I watched and waited as the cattle slowly headed through the gate into the pastures, just taking their sweet time. That is when I noticed the bull walking towards me, the most evil glare in his eyes and horns pointing straight at me. I knew what that look meant, having seen it many times before; always through a window!

Still, he kept coming closer, never losing eye contact. Then he stopped just a meter in front of me. I tried to hide behind the gate, but I knew it was useless; there was no way anyone could hide behind an iron gate, much like trying to hide in a window. I could feel my entire body trembling with fear. If I had known how to pray I would have done so right then and there. Suddenly I saw a change come over his face; the evil glare in his eyes was replaced with a blank one. For a little while he looked as if he was trying to remember what he had been thinking, then he just turned and walked into the pasture.

From that day on I never did that chore alone again, I was too scared.

Living on the farm, I got to watch a lot of interesting stuff take place. Usually before a special event, we would slaughter an animal. Depending on what occasion it was we would slaughter a pig, a cow, a turkey, or a chicken. As you can guess the turkey was for Thanksgiving and as for the rest of them; we just had them whenever they were big enough to eat.

On the day that a slaughter was to take place I was always kept inside, it got really nasty with blood all over the place. I used to sit by the window and watch the whole thing, from the moment the animal was hung to the point where it had all of its organs removed. The only animal I was allowed to help slaughter was the chicken. I had the job of pulling out feathers after it was done bleeding.

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