Thursday, 25 September 2008

Tales on the Farm

When I was small we lived in an old farm house in rural New York State. My mother is of the opinion it was an awful place full of hicks and horrible winters. We moved away when I was 5 but I can still remember the wonderland I thought the farm was. We had goats, geese, chickens, cows, cats and dogs, I was in kid heaven, but I had my enemies too.

The billy Goat for instance.. he loathed me, just me was fine with my parents, with all the other animals but hated one small girl child with wild brown hair and holes in the knees of her jeans. Every day my mother milked the goats and every day the billy goat would rear up on his hind legs, paw at the air and bleat at me. I was terrified so my mother gave me a stick, I'm not sure if that counts as animal abuse or not but the Billy Goat would loom over me and I would wave the stick in his general direction, and miracle of miracles he would back off. For a bit anyway then he would loom nearer and stand on two legs challenging me, and I would brandish my stick and wave it at him.

We also had a goose and gander, the goose thought my mother was her mother and would follow my mother everywhere on the farm, into the house out of the house, everywhere that my mother went the goose went. The gander on the other hand, well he was pure evil, spawn of the devil himself. Everyday after kindergarten he would wait by the fence for me to step off the school bus.

I would hop off the school bus, the big bus if the bridge was ok, but the short bus if the bridge was broken, or under repair and no heavy trucks allowed, slip through the gate and there would be the gander. He would charge me honking and flapping his wings and I would run in terror to the farm house braids flying. If I wasn't quick enough the gander would nip at my heels, and my clothes. This happened every single school day. I still don't know what I ever did at the age of 5 to incur the wrath of the farmyard.

I had one more enemy though, one of the cows, a brown Jersey cow with beautiful dark liquid eyes and long lustrous lashes. My parents thought it might be fun to put me on the cows back. The cow thought otherwise and bolted leaving me hanging round her neck as she bucked and kicked rampaging through the barn until I fell off into a rubber feed bucket listening to my parents laughter. I loved it all though and missed it when we moved on to new adventures in California.

Why am I reminiscing about the past? Because I am feeling a bit lost and homesick at the moment. This is the first autumn since I moved to England that I won't be flying back home to the states. I know very well that this is my home here, my house, but I miss the states, I miss my parents, and my friends Meg, Jaci, and Gin, I miss pumpkin patches, apple orchards, Cinnabuns, yard sales, and just being in the US of A. M says we will be flying to Seattle in spring, then the long drive across Washington State to reach my parents home in Northern Idaho. Its a long time till spring though and my thoughts will be with my other home. What I wouldn't give for some decent Mexican or Vietnamese, or even french fries and a strawberry shake at Denny's!

Tonight my friend Frizbe is taking me and the kids to Asda Walmart, for a wander down the Halloween isle so I can have a few moments to look at glittering plastic spiders, vampire teeth, horrible candy and orange plastic jack-o-lanterns. A small piece of America in Derbyshire.


Ayama-chan said...

Big Cyber hugs and all the things I am REALLY missing about Australia, are from my early childhood too. Should ramble about them on my blog too. :D Hang in there... And I will agree that ganders and goats are evil sodding animals.

Lucy Locket-Pocket said...

I absolutely love your goose picture - what a brilliant idea to paint directly onto a printed page!

I also loved reading your reminisences (sp?!) - I grew up with loads of ducks, geese, pheasants, racing pigeons and chickens and it was my job each morning before school to feed the chickens, ducks and geese. Some of them were adorable - especially Pompey and Claudia the Eider ducks who used to come running the length of the garden to meet me if I called them, but the Barnacle geese could be incredibly territorial so I always had my feed bucket as a guard/deterrent! Then there was a little Belgian bantam who was incredibly vicious - I used to run through his cage into the next one as quickly as possible and have to admit I was never as diligent at looking for the eggs his hens laid!

Thanks for making me think about it all again - I miss my home too even though it's not as far away as yours - I grew up in Hampshire and lived in the same wonderful home for 17 years until my parents moved up to Durham (to another wonderful home) - but I still feel homesick!

Lucy x

P.S. Sorry about the epic proportions of my comment!!!

Frizbe said...

I'm pondering if your parents were stoned? sticking you on the cow and laughing their socks off...

Hope you enjoyed your brief moment in Walmart tonight? I miss flying to the states at this time of year too and I'm not from there! New Jersey/NY State/Vermont is lovely at this time of year, I have very fond memories of pumpkin soup/pie and maple syrup with pancakes on crisp autumn mornings.

Love the pic btw too :-)

jillytacy said...

I grew up in upstate NY. My grandmother had a dairy farm with Jerseys too. It was a great way to grow up and I often reminisce about it. It was a good time in life.
I hope reminiscing makes you feel a little less homesick!

Apron Thrift Girl said...

I loved reading your stories about your childhood. We had some evil animals too including a wild cat which my dad eventually shot. I don't recall why he shot him but the cat I think was eating our chickens. I remember this cat as being huge and terrifying. We also had scary geese that nipped at us. What is up with geese?

I personally feel that it isn't just the difference in cultures and language but I don't feel right until I am in the climate and timezone of my childhood. Everything else feels second best. I hope your winter goes by quickly so that spring will be here before you know it.

Saucy said...

Love your little tale...

I see you did a "Robot Swap" and that would have been a gooder. I missed out! Darn. Love robots.

Edalene said...

Well written article.