Well, life on the farm is kinda laid back,
Ain't much an ol' country boy like me can't hack,
It's early to rise, early in the sack,
Thank God I'm a country boy.
Well, a simple kinda life never did me no harm,
A raisin' me a family and working on the farm,
My days are all filled with an easy country charm,
Thank God I'm a country boy.
When John Denver penned these now famous words to his song "Country Boy" he had, apparently, never spent time out at my mother's place.
She and my step-father live in the country. They moved there when they married. I was nineteen and on my own for years. This was their exclusive hideaway. They intended it to be just the two of them and a variety of animals for food and companionship. And they achieved their goal. It just wasn't exactly from the pages of "Country Living" magazine.
I started thinking about it when I saw two dead opossums on the road this morning. 'Possums and city life don't mix well but two is a lot in one day. I wondered if they were escaping my mom's place.
Critters come and critters go and my mother has never been incredibly sentimental about separation. In the fifteen years I lived at home we moved fourteen times. Animals came and went as the wind blew. If they were a problem, they were gone. If we couldn't have them at the next place, they moved on and so did we. She was well suited for the life-and-death decision making that sometimes comes with country life.
It served her well.......I guess.
One country-charming, pastoral day, she awoke to find a coyote had broken in to the hen house. Feathers and squawking chickens were fluttering everywhere. One old girl had gotten the worst of it and the outlook was decidedly Colonel Sanders, if you know what I mean. Mom grabbed her up and, with the expertise of a washer woman, wrung her neck and dispatched her to that big frying pan in the sky. Round One.
Several hours later one of the ducks was looking decidedly dejected. She moped and laid and leaned. Mom was resolved that the suffering could not continue and the most likely issue was an impacted egg. With shovel in hand, her make-shift guillotine forever separated Ducky's mind from her problem, so to speak. My mother proceeded to perform an autopsy. Yep. Egg impaction. Round Two.
As the evening wore on, she and my step-dad turned in for the night. They were awoken by a beastly ruckus in the backyard. The dogs had cornered a 'possum and had gone completely hoodlum with it, bullying it and tossing it to and fro. By the time my mother showed up, well, the grim reaper even paid attention and started taking notes. She felt a .22 would make the quickest work of it but it was the middle of the night and that might alarm the neighbors. She surveyed the yard for options and landed on it: a barbeque skewer. I'll spare you the details but suffice it to say, chicken-neck-wringing and duck-head-detachment are practically children's bedtime stories in comparison. At least the poor thing was long gone when she went back to bed and left it for the dogs. Round three.
All I have to say is this: Whenever I'm not feeling well, I steer far clear of my mother's place. I'd advise you to do the same.