March 30th…“WHAT WAS A FARMING LESSON YOU LEARNED THE HARD WAY?”
POEM – “On The Fence With Dad” by N. Elliott Noorlun
Dad could be a stinker, In our days back on the farm,
Although I’m sure, with good intent, He really meant no harm.
Like the time he asked me to go for a walk, When I was just about four,
If I’d known then, what was gonna happen, I’d have never gone out that door.
Now at that age, For any lad, You’ll gladly do ANYTHING, For your dad,
So as we walked, To get our cows, I soon discovered, The WOW of wows!!
Dad asked me, “Son can you do something for me?”, I wanted to please him best,
“Use this wet blade of grass, And touch that wire, Give that electric fence a test.
This naive little guy, With obedient try, Laid that grass upon the wire,
Voltage shot through, My arm, Then I knew, What it felt like to feel “on fire”!!!
My dad gave a laugh, While his little calf, Named Elliott started to bawl,
As he walked farther down, The cow lane that day, As if he’d done no wrong at all.
Years rolled by, And this little guy, Is now young buck of 13,
It’s time to learn, The ways of the farm, And from Father’s wisdom glean.
Until we hence, Came up to a fence, With electricity surging through wire,
Screwdriver in palm, My dad with all calm, Said, “I’ll show how to test if there’s fire.”
“NO WAY!!”, said I, “I remember the cry”, “I had when I was four!”
“Whether you’re straight, Or foolin'”, “You’ll not catch ME toolin'”,
“With electric fences NO MORE!!”
Epilogue: Dad got real upset with me that day, in 1967, when he truly MEANT to teach me about testing an electric fence. And, later in life, what he showed me that day DID make sense. But, even though (back in 1958) he had good intentions regarding the 4 year old shocker incident, I never forgot that sensation of my little muscles “locking up” for a second or two from that electrical shock and I wouldn’t trust Dad ……seeing that he was a BIG practical joker, too. Farming life lesson learned for this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.