A City Slicker and a Lesson
A Hunting They Did Go
I wouldn't take anything for my life experiences none of which are earth shattering events but the simple amusements of a boy who grew up in the rural mountains of Western North Carolina, memories forever embedded. My grandpa had a small farm on which he grew truck crops such as pole beans and cabbage and most of the vegetables typical of country farmers. Some were sold at the Farmers Market in Hendersonville but a large portion of the vegetables he grew were either canned in mason jars by my grandma or preserved in some other fashion to be used as needed for family meals. The cellar shelves were full by end of harvest with tomato soup, green beans, squash, peaches. Potatoes and apples were stored there in bins or burlap bags. Corn used for making cornmeal was also kept in a safe place away from rodents for shelling and taking to the grist mill as needed. The old corn crib was really not a secure place and rats could easily sneak in to help themselves. Grandpa always had a good barn cat to keep the pilferage to a minimum.
The mountain folk were a hard working self sufficient lot and the farm animals such as pigs, chickens and cows accounted for other daily necessities. There were always cured hams and pork in the smoke house and plenty of fresh milk and butter in the fridge to go along with those huge cat head biscuits and molasses or those wonderful jams and jellies grandma had meticulously preserved for the breakfast table. When grandpa did venture to the store for other groceries needed by the family, he only bought salt, sugar, flour and coffee. Many times he bartered butter and eggs to the store owner in trade for some of the items he needed. It was a simple life back then.
Grandpa grew corn for the livestock and I remember on Saturday a bunch of city slickers were hunting in his corn fields for quail. The land was posted but the signs were ignored by these city dwellers. It just so happened some of grandpa's guineas were in the corn field gleaning kernels of corn that had fallen to the ground. The hunters bird dogs flushed those guineas and they took flight. Boom! Boom! Three of grandpa's guineas lay dead in the field. The hunters retrieved the guineas and brought them to grandpa's house. They wanted to pay for them having realized what they had just shot were not quail.
Grandpa was not a little upset and in the best language of an elderly gentleman told them they were trespassing and he did not at all appreciate them hunting on his posted land. He did take the sum of money offered however. This made me think of another incident about city slickers that I had heard. Seems a good old boy from the sticks had invited a city slicker to go rabbit hunting with him. Rabbit hunting once was a popular sport here in Western North Carolina and soon the dogs were loosed from their cages and the scent of a cottontail was picked up by the keen noses of those beagles.
There was a field that had a barb wire fence surrounding the field being hunted and the old country boy held up the wires of the fence as the city slicker crawled under to the other side.At the bottom of the fence stake were some rabbit pills (manure) and having never seen rabbit poop, the city slicker asked the country boy,"What is this?" The country boy grinned as he told him,"Why, they're smart pills! Eat a few and they are supposed to make you smarter."
Reaching down and taking couple in his hand, the city slicker popped them right into his mouth and began to chew. "Shoo! These taste just like shit! He exclaimed. Grinning, the country boy remarked, "See there, you're getting smarter already."
Well maybe this isn't so funny to a city slicker and the one who just had a terrible trick played on him.You would have to be a country boy to appreciate the humor in this story.
- Manure Matters: How Manures Measure Up
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