Remember, We’re Laughing With You

Here’s a photo of our four-wheeler, the most critical component on our farm, after Melissa. Take note of the two slender rods which run from the front basket down under the four-wheeler and out the back end. (Note the pink tape on the rods.) These rods play a critical role in this story.

Farmers love to entertain themselves, and since we don’t get off the farm much, we look for on-farm sources of amusement. One of the best sources, I’m afraid, is city people visiting the farm. That would be you.

Imagine you’ve fled the city and come to our farm for a visit. You hop onto the back of the four-wheeler, and I take the driver’s ‘seat’ as we head out to check on the sheep. The sky is bright blue, the sun warm on your face, and it’s fun riding down the road on a four-wheeler. I stop at the gate to our pasture, get off, open the gate, drive us through, then shut the gate again. You are confident I know what I’m doing.

As I head out into the pasture, some people see the fence ahead right away. What comes next is hardest on them, for they have the most time to worry. Three strands of wire stretch between slender white, bendable, fiberglass posts. I continue heading straight for the three-foot high fence, my thumb not letting up on the throttle.

You begin to squirm in your seat. Should you say something? The four-wheeler heads straight for the fence, now fifty feet away.

“Ahhh,” you say.

“What’s that?” I throw over my shoulder.

“Ahhh, hmmm, well…” Thirty feet away.

“Say again?” I bite back a smile. Ten feet and still full throttle.

We are seconds from hitting the fence. You have no choice now but to cry out, “Fence…Fence…FENCE!”

Thwap. We are over the fence. You whirl around and watch the fence snap back upright as we continue on our way. I am laughing so hard now I must stop and wipe my eyes.

Your heart is racing and all you can say is, “Wow.”

I explain that the thin rods push the fence down so we can drive over it. The secret is to hit the fence at exactly a 90 degree angle. If you’re off by only a few degrees, the fence will become hopelessly entangled in the four-wheeler’s undercarriage and you will say many bad words and finally cut the wire, hoping your partner will blame deer for the damage.

Melissa read about this four-wheeler adaptation in a book, and it works beautifully, allowing us to cross fences anywhere instead of finding a gate. My favorite prank may be less successful now that I’ve written this, but not to worry. I’m sure we’ll come up with something equally as entertaining. It’s what we do.

8 thoughts on “

  1. I just finished reading your book–which I stayed up most of the night to finish.

    Too funny.

    And yeah, you’re right. City folks are funny. I love the four wheeler over the fence joke. Great one!

  2. Jacquie,

    You asked what we do with our wool. Not much! While it’s fine for spinning and knitting (a friend has used our wool to knit himself some incredible sweaters), it’s not the long, fine Merino wool spinners seem to want, so no one’s banging down our door to buy it. I had high hopes of spinning and dying the wool, then selling to customers, but that whole ‘spinning is too hard’ thing got in the way.

    So we hang on to it, then every few years the area shepherds rent a semi and ship it somewhere in Illinois. Not very exciting, I’m afraid.

  3. Glad you liked the cartoon! The least I can do to repay you for the pleasure your book is providing, which I’ve just begun on the recommendation of my friend Jacquie.

    So you’ll raise the camels and send me the fleece to spin, okay? It’s a deal.

  4. I am one of those city-folk terrorized by Ms. Catherine. I have decided to forgive her, but only because she has now warned the world about her sadistic tendencies on the four-wheeler. And because she is the only surrogate mother the lambs had since the nanny-goats were let down by the billys this year. I must say – it just doesn’t feel like Spring on the farm without a good tussle with the baby goats and a round of King of the Mountain featuring us as the mountains!

    Carry on Catherine, and thanks for posting even though you are in the midst of lambing!


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