Down On The Farm
© 2011 - William C. Highsmith

When the author was a boy of about ten years of age, he enjoyed a great thrill of leaving the city to visit relatives 'down on the farm'. I had lots of kin-folks in South Georgia. However, there was one family I and most of my siblings loved most to visit.

In those days, times were tough. In addition to the hard economics of the time, it simply was a different life in the Southern regions of America. Electricity had not yet reached many homes along the country roads, and indoor plumbing was a rare thing in most locations. Now let me tell you - the out-house was some experience for a city boy!

When the city boy was growing up, the only animals we knew about were the family dog and/or cat and maybe a few chickens. Creatures like cows and horses and perhaps goats or pigs were simply foreign to us.

I remember my uncle was caring for some pigs in a fenced-in area. As we followed along, I was given a lesson in sex - pig sex to be exact. Among the group of pigs was a very amorous male and some willing females. It was indeed something a boy would never forget. I didn't know God made things like that male possessed.

In those days, there were no fence laws in South Georgia. I vividly remember times of riding the country roads at night. Suddenly, in the head-light beam would be a herd of cattle in the two-rut road. They thought they owned the place and the car we were in did not intimidate them in the least. It was another example of a country education for the city boy. I preferred the day-light hours.

There was another thing I remember with fondness. My uncle took me and my brothers out to the barn to show us how to feed the calves and chickens. He showed us how to shell dried corn to feed the animals. After removing the husk from the corn, we would feed it into an apparatus called a corn-sheller. It was made by the "Black Hawk" company. The shelled corn was fed to either cattle or chickens. I was told - "if you give a whole ear of corn to a mule or horse, they will bite the grains off and eat them. A hog will do the same. However, a Tom Fool cow will attempt to swallow the ear whole and get choked." Such are the lessons of farming.

As I reflect upon these times, I am grateful for kinsman. I am thankful for being raised up in such a time and place. Oh that every child could experience the love and affection of immediate and extended family.

By William C. Highsmith - September 12, 2011