Thursday, January 30, 2014

Uncle Cran's Farm Report: Exchanging Roles?

Uncle Cran has sent along another of his regularly sporadic, reliably unannounced, philosophically postmodern Ozark farm reports:
Do you ever wonder just what a farmer does in his spare time?
I have to admit that this very question has preyed deeply on my mind, and I'm bustin' to find out:
Well, in addition to the daily feeding of the cats and dogs, taking hay and grain to the cows, chopping holes in the ice on the pond so the critters can get a drink, and cutting and hauling wood for the stove most weeks, there are times when you have to become a mother to a calf, whose real mother doesn't have enough milk for the calf to survive.
Uncle Cran does all this in his spare time? Where does he find time for the farm work? And -- as we also see from the photo above -- Uncle Cran even uses some of his leisure time in taking on a mothering role toward a creature of another species! But why doesn't that real mother have enough milk for her own offspring? What's she doing with most of her milk, anyway? And why does Uncle Cran use a comma after "calf"?
The mother is always suspicious of me, and checks me out every time to make sure I'm not hurting her baby. I give her a few range cubes to keep her occupied. After all, a guy doesn't want another broken hip from an angry critter.
Broken hip? By a one-head-of-cattle stampede? That'll never happen . . . so long as Uncle Cran is more restrictive with cattle than with his relative clauses. But why's this mother cow so suspicious towards Uncle Cran? She's the one to be an object of suspicion, not giving her own calf enough milk! But what does the calf think about all this?
I don't think the calf cares whether I'm male or female, as long as I give it a bottle of calf milk replacer twice a day. The bottle holds two quarts. When I go out to feed him, all I have to do is call, and it comes running. I add some corn syrup and molasses each time, so it will like the stuff, and every other day I beat up an egg in the milk mix, so it's doing ok. Now I get some grain in my hand, and stick on its tongue. It's starting to nibble a little bit. Once I get it to eating it, it should really begin to grow.
The indefinite pronoun "it" is way out of control in this passage, especially in that there last sentence: "Once I get it to eating it, it should really begin to grow." I think "it" has already grown quite enough, thank you.
Otherwise, we are coping with the cold weather fairly well. Keep warm.
Thanks, but Seoul is not quite so cold this winter as the Ozarks are. So much for Uncle Cran's farm report. Oh wait. Talk about regularly sporadic and reliably unannounced! Another report has just come in, along with this curious photograph:

What more does Uncle Cran have to say for himself?
Some of you may be wondering if I still have my wife, Linda Gay.
I have to admit that this very question has also preyed deeply on my mind, given Uncle Cran's new role as mother to a calf. A mother doesn't generally need a wife, but in today's postmodern times . . . well, let's hear Uncle Cran out in his words about his wife Linda Gay:
She is so busy with house cleaning, laundry, cooking, and all the other things here in the house, she doesn't get in the pictures very often. But she also has another job assignment: She is my designated wood splitter.
No leisure time left for that activity, Uncle Cran? But what qualifies Linda Gay for that particular job?
Here she is, all dressed in her sunday-go-to-meeting clothes, and just finished up splitting that pile of wood behind her. I know she is only 4 feet eleven inches tall, but don't let that fool you. SHE HAS JUST FINISHED SPLITTING A HUGE PILE OF WOOD, WITH THE POWER OF FIVE HORSES, AND EXERTING A FORCE OF TWENTY TONS AT THE POINT OF IMPACT. And she did it by using only the power of her little right hand. Now you know one of the reasons I married her. I needed a personal protector.
Ah, a very powerful woman, one who can even protect Uncle Cran . . . leading inquiring minds to wonder just why Uncle Cran needed protection in the first place. Maybe from those angry cattle that he worries so much about? Is there some history here that we don't know yet?
We have been using this much wood every two weeks, with the extreme cold, snow, ice and high winds. Hopefully the weather will improve the rest of the winter.
Hope springs eternal that spring is just around the corner . . .

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At 4:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does a dog lick it?

Because it can lick it.

(Thankfully, we're beyond wondering what to feed grain.)


At 5:06 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I'll try not to dwell on that image too much . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 12:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I now have an excuse for my misprints and other errata in my emails.....that TIA (mini stroke) has scrambled some more of my brain cells, adding to the number of short circuits between them.


At 12:20 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Maybe so, Uncle Cran, but I find myself making similar kinds of errors -- so this might be called aging . . . or it may just run in the family.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 7:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention that the comma you felt unnecessary was because since the TIA episode my mind, like my body now, tires easily. Because of this I have to mentally and physically pause, as my writing and physical exertions tire me out easily.
The comma gives me pause in my thoughts, as well as relief to my body.
The use of "it" is because I am always facing the front of the calf as I give "it" the bottle. I haven't looked to see if "it" is male of female. Next time I feed perhaps that examination can take place, and will be duly noted.
I "feed the grain" to the baby calf in the same way I used to "feed baby food" to my kids.
This may not be proper language construction, but it works for me.


At 9:53 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Uncle Cran, You'll have to take most of that up with JK, I reckon, but as for this:

"I haven't looked to see if 'it' is male or female."

I remain puzzled:

"When I go out to feed him, all I have to do is call, and it comes running."

Who's "him"?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just assumed there was a 50/50 chance "it" was a guy.


At 10:37 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

If he is a guy, steer it the right way soon.

Jeffery Hodges

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