Because there is a narrow profit margin, farmers are always looking for ways to make ends meet. Many farmers are “flashlight farmers”, meaning they have jobs during the day and tend to the farm in the evening. Steve and I bring in extra income by renting out our guest cottage and glamping tent. Not only does it bring in extra cash, but we also get to meet really nice people. This weekend was no exception.
This past weekend we had a great young family rent the guest cottage: a mom, dad and two young children (a 6 year old and an18 month old). Six-year-old Wesley was determined to help with chores. Naturally, we wanted Wesley to have a memorable experience while here, and he did.
Here is Wesley’s takeaway from his visit:
Wesley ran around the farmyard with wild abandon. He commented on how “funny” it smelled when the wind blew towards him. Must be the country air.
He talked sweetly to our 130 baby chick pets. As he helped sprinkle fresh pine shavings in the brooder he noted that one had a deformed leg. “That’s okay little baby, at least you are alive”, he sang out. He thought it was very cool that we had so many pet chickens.
He stood mesmerized by the layers’ fenced yard as Fabio played “tag” with all of the hens. He remarked that Fabio sure was good at catching the other chickens. He was so good in fact, that he even liked to “tackle” some of them.
Wesley was most excited to help gather eggs at day’s end. I lifted him over the fence and he scampered into the hen house with basket in hand. Midway through, he looked down the line of nest boxes and said, “Look, one of chickens is taking a nap in her nest box!” “Why, yes she is”, was my reply as I ushered him out the door asking him to run to the barn to check on the pet chicks.
Here is what really went down:
That “funny” smell? That was the stench of butchered chicken organs, decaying in the compost pile from last week’s processing.
And that gaggle of “pet” chickens? They will be someone’s dinner in about 6 weeks.
That spirited game of tag was Fabio getting some afternoon delight………over and over and over again.
The sweet chicken sleeping in her nest box? Dead....... and stiff as a board. Must have died several hours before while we were selling at the farmer’s market. As I frantically blocked his view I was mouthing to his mother, “there is a dead chicken in here”.
So Wesley’s childhood weekend memories of that special trip to the farm? I suppose it’s all about perspective.