And Old Farmer, His Wife Tilly, and his mule Tom. Short Story.

Created Friday, November 11, 2011



Our mule Tom, and I farmed twenty acres. We raised strawberries, cucumbers, shallots, string beans , sweet corn, and potatoes .

Tom was almost twenty years old. He did not pull a middle buster as easy as a young mule so I took it easy on him, to make a lot of stops to have him drink water. I would never let him get too hot because I did not want him to get over heated . We worked in the mornings, and we never plowed land during the hottest parts of the day.

I am always running into wire grass, or crab grass. Darn stuff never stops growing, and when I see it I bend down, dig it up, and sling it a mile away. My back does get sore .

I need to repair Tom's shed. I have to protect him from the north wind that can cause his nostrils to run with cold. I don't want Tom to get Pneumonia. If I could bring him in the kitchen with my wife Tilly, and I , I believe I would do it, but I do not feel our kitchen floor could support his weight. What I will do is to put a large blanket on his back tonight before it gets cold , and I just might build a bonfire in his pasture. Tom would like that. I know he would enjoy being close to me while I feed him sweet feed .

The wind is already picking up, and the chill is coming in with no hesitation. If only I could bring Tom in the house this one night tonight . Let me ask Tilly , and see what she has to say.

" Tilly, do you think I could bring Tom inside our house tonight? "

" Sure bring him on in, but you will be the one to help clean up after him."

I could not believe she told me I could bring the horse in the house. Sure enough I carefully walked Tom into the kitchen, but had to move the kitchen table into the living room.

Tom seemed a bit nervous at first until I kept rubbing his neck. Tom enjoyed the good treatment of Tilly's indoor cooking. I decided to not feed him too much corn bread because it could give him gas .

Tom wound up eating up many things in our refrigerator. He ate apples, sugar, oats from the shed, and drank a bucket of water, and did his business on some large potato sacks while the cold winds outside whistled around our house.

It was a cold night. I stayed up all night with Tom. Tilly got up early, and baked biscuits , and made gravy for us , and I turned on the radio.

We heard something good on the radio. A farmer a ways from us had Alfalfa hay for sale so Tom , and I headed down the road , and purchased twelve bails. Tom easily pulled our wagon home.

Sure enough on our way home , Tom ate up some of his Alfalfa , and when we got back Tilly helped me unload the hay into Tom's shed. I patched up Tom's shed with more sheets of tin, and filled up her hay rack pretty well.

Tom was in hog's Heaven when we left the pasture, and I made sure that I cracked the ice in his water bucket since we had gotten a light freeze.

Soon it will be time to plant strawberry plants. Klondikes, and eighty eights are my favorite kind of berry plants. A little later on I will cut some seed potatoes, and plant them. We love our new red potatoes when they are full grown.

Tilly, and I cleared our land with a long handheld crosscut saw . I had only a few tools.. Tom helped us use the middle buster, and cultivator. I had to be careful not to hit stumps, and whatever stumps we ran into we had to dig them up, and haul them away .

Tom helped Tilly, and I build our farm. Tom is a member of our family , and we are proud of him.





Comments 2 comments

Gloshei profile image

Gloshei 5 years ago from France

Lovely tale, if only life was still like that. What a wonderful world it would be.

God Bless.

Love to Becky.


stars439 profile image

stars439 5 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. Author

Dear Gloshei : The old farming days are a mighty good education to young ins. Good for everyone. Those days were not easy, but I can remember when we traded vegetables with neighbors. We would give strawberries, and someone would bring us tomatoes, or green beans. My family had three or four mules. I loved our mule Betsy. I took pictures with her once. I think I will write about Betsy.

God Bless You Sweetheart, and Your Beautiful Family, And Your Wonderful Friends.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working