On this snowy Good Friday (April 10, 2020) in the midst of the social isolation brought on by Covid19, we thought this little glimpse into life on the farm in April 1989 would bring some chuckles.
Snow in April always feels unexpected and unnecessary, however, when this was originally published in the Kings County Record on April 18, 1989 it was snowing then too!
woodstove and any other innocent bystanders. I mention this because it's been one of those weeks around here.
It all began last Friday, when the horse got a nail in her hoof. Hardly a happy event, and even less happy after the vet was here to give Sally her tetanus shot and left his bill (of course it was after regular hours - I've never known an animal to get sick within regular office hours) and half a gallon of penicillin to be injected twice a day, two shots at a time for five days. The expression, "to get it in the neck," took on new meaning, let me tell you.
How come the rump is suddenly unfashionable? There's a good deal more real estate to aim at there. The last time I had to give shots to anything, the posterior was the preferred position and a moment's thought convinces you that the place to stand when offering insults of this sort is well to one side, so what's so fashionable about the neck? I must check out the thinking up at the Health Center before I let anyone up there come after me with a needle.
Aside from the worry about the health of the horse, there were other things to think about. Chief among these was my almost immediate departure on a trip of several days’ duration. Of course, we have nothing to do around here but twiddle our thumbs, and of course my wife really loves nothing better than sticking needles in large animals and it was clear that she was stuck with the job (so to speak).
You see what I mean about the universe unfolding? Unravelling is more like it.
The whole situation reminded me of a time, years ago, when there were a lot more faces around the breakfast table and all of them were a good deal younger than they are now. I had to be somewhere else for a couple of days and Alice and I had lined up someone to take care of the kids so we could both go. I remember clearly what a wonderful thought this seemed. If you took the number of kids and their ages and multiplied something by something else it worked out that we had spent about fifty years, day and night, with children and the thought of several days off was, well, heady.
The night before we were due to leave, first one, then another little innocent came down with spots. The next morning, I departed, leaving Alice wandering from sickbed to sickbed, looking (but probably not feeling) like Florence Nightingale at the Crimean War.
Universe unfolding as it should - bosh!
Last week, the weather report for the day I had to leave mumbled about possibility of flurries. A kind neighbor who knows horses had agreed to help poke holes in Sally. Though you wouldn't say that the universe was exactly back in a good mood, it did seem a little less actively hostile. It did, that is, until I glanced out the window as I brought my suitcase to the kitchen door. My glance rebounded and almost knocked me over. The air was thick with snow.
"Just a squall," I said.
"Wrong!" the universe said and got right into snow making on the grand scale.
Two hours later, having delayed as long as I could, I set out with the car into something that would have made Nanook of the North turn pale.
To make a long story short, I called Alice that evening to tell her that I was still alive. Unfortunately, the ringing of the phone startled her, and she stabbed herself with the hypodermic needle she was at that moment dismantling. She had to go get a tetanus shot herself the next day. (She tells me the Health Center still jabs the needle in the posterior - some things never change.)
So much, however, for the universe.
Words & Images
We moved to our farm in Sussex, New Brunswick from Toronto in 1977, only moving away in 2014.