Ruffled Feathers and Spilled Milk

Farming with ducks and dairy goats, chickens and children.

King of the Mountain

Posted on | October 29, 2009 | No Comments

There are some serious advantages to being a farm kid.  I don’t mean cleaning the coop in exchange for 30 minutes on the computer or getting paid 75 cents for every hour spent clearing the winter’s fallen branches out of the woods.  No, those are just the part of the everyday benefits.  Here we have some really big events that can rock their world.  Today it was the arrival of the leaves.

The leaf vacuum truck rumbles up the driveway, tips its bed with a 27 cubic yard capacity and dumps all the city people’s leaves in our mulch pile.  These leaves will be bedding for the animals through the winter.  They will make compost for raised garden beds.  They will be used in another misguided attempt to grow potatoes in black plastic garbage bags.  But more importantly, they will form the most awesome leaf piles for jumping that have ever been seen.  The piles will be over 6 feet tall and the troughs between loads will form 3 foot drops for sliding into and jumping over.  A country dream come true.

For days the kids will have to strip their boots and clothes off on the deck to avoid my wrath at sticks, leaves, and acorns being dragged in after their adventures.  They will revel in the all the balls discovered in the depths of the pile—tennis balls chewed and hidden by suburban dogs, baseballs hit into a corner of the yard and forgotten, whiffle balls for….what do people use whiffle balls for?  They will wonder at the steaming hot spots they stick their hands into, revealing the powerful forces of compression and decomposition.

Of course, even the best fun has to end eventually.  In a few months the pile will off limits.  It will be a potential death trap–filled with yellow jackets, copperheads and black widows.  We will peel the tarp off carefully and jump back, waiting for any danger to clear before pitchforking the leaves into the wheelbarrow to be used around the farm.  But, oh, those days of standing on the top of pile, surveying the woods, the meadow, the pond.  Sinking your boots in to withstand the attacks of your siblings, fiercely holding your position as King of the Mountain.  The moment when your balance is lost and you slide, laughing, off the side in a cascade of leaves.  Yes, there are some advantages of being a farm kid.  And I have the pictures to prove it.

Long live the farm kids.

© Stevie Taylor 2010. All Rights Reserved.

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