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

Updated on August 14, 2015

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.


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    • stars439 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      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.

    • Gloshei profile image


      6 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.


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