Safety on the Farm

There’s much emphasis on farm safety these days, and with good reason.  However, the dangers publicized don’t always cover the gamut of mishaps that can occur on a farm.  I can think of at least four that I’ve never heard mentioned.

1. Falling Hoes

I was little, and my brother Willy and I were in the vegetable garden with Mom.  We were supposed to be helping her, but there was more bickering and tomfoolery going on between us than anything useful.  Willy idly lifted the hoe he’d been leaning on.  He balanced the tip of the handle on his palm, then without a thought to where it might land, he let it drop.  The shiny steel blade descended through the air and landed neatly between my first and second toes.

I was unhurt, but when I looked down and saw the hoe between my toes, I raised such a screech and a howl that Mom came quickly to see what was the matter.  To my satisfaction, Willy was scolded, roundly and sharply, before she turned back to her yellow beans.

In the wrong hands, an ordinary garden hoe can become a dangerous toe-amputating device.

2. Benevolent Roosters

When Albert’s Uncle Henry was a boy in Mexico, he had a pet rooster.  The rooster followed him wherever he went, and when Henry sat down, the rooster perched on his lap.

Henry also had a wart just inside one of his nostrils.  One day, the rooster decided to help him with this unsightly malformation.  Training his flinty eye to Henry’s beak, he drew a bead on the wart.  With one lightning-swift peck, he extracted the wart, roots and all from Henry’s nose.  Henry was not as grateful as you might think.  The wart was gone and it never grew back, but the rooster forever lost favour with Uncle Henry.

3. Mean Roosters

One day about four years ago, I walked in to the chicken coop with a bucket of feed.  The head rooster flew at me with beating wings and outstretched claws.  I swung the pail at him, and thumped him with it too, but he attacked me again.  Three times, I whacked him before I managed to escape.  Once outside, I examined my pail.  The collision with that ornery bird had cracked the hard plastic from top to bottom.  The rooster was sentenced to execution for crimes against humanity and beheaded at the block, and I’ve banned roosters from the flock ever since.  Of course, this obliges the hens to forfeit any chance of romantic happiness in their lives.  They are like little feathered nuns fluttering about in their wire mesh abbey, but it’s a sacrifice this mother superior is willing to make.

4. Collapsing Barns

“Even the wind and the waves obey him.” – Mark 4:41

It was a warm day in early autumn.  We children were at school and Mom and Dad were in the house at home.  There was a storm rising.  Dad decided to try to make it out to the barn before it hit.  Halfway there, the sky opened up and the rain came down in torrents.  Left with the choice to run to the barn or to the house, he turned back.  He was barely inside when a tornado struck the farm.  It tossed the corncrib into the pasture, struck down huge old maple trees and collapsed the barn as though it were made of toothpicks.  But the house with Mom and Dad in it was spared, other than some broken tree limbs stabbing through the windows.

the farm before the tornado struck.

the farm before the tornado struck.

That afternoon, we stepped off of the school bus to a home we barely recognized.  Pigs and chickens ran about the cow pasture and the yard was flattened, as it were, but for the house and garage.  The damage was great, but the only sentiment I take away from the experience is gratitude to God for his hand that spared the lives of our parents.


3 responses to this post.

  1. The fans demand more funny pictures of Albert!


  2. For sure you have to be super careful with those hoes lying around. Everytime I find a hoe lying around there’s trouble.


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