Sunday, August 13, 2017

Exploding Cows, Disappearing Dirt and the "Walking Dead"

One story often leads to another, and today was no exception.

We had a great day today, after a marathon day yesterday of putting up peaches and getting our half of a hog into the freezer. Today, we decided, we were going to play. And our idea of play is to go junking and find more inventory for our booths.

We went to a flea market in the nearby town of Ravenswood, moved on to several yard sales in town, and while we were there we added a few things to our booths t Th Riverbend Antique Mall. Then we went on downriver to Point Pleasant and stopped at a yard sale on the way.

This yard sale was in the coolest little cabin. I wish I'd thought to take photos. A lady and her grandson were running the sale, and a nicer, more polite boy you could not wish to meet. The cabin was built entirely by the grandmother, right down to the porch and the shelves inside, and it was filled with collectibles. The grandson and I got to talking, and he said how he wished things could go back to the way it was, before cars and electricity and "all of those things" came along. He was quite a worker, helping his grandfather get in firewood, and gardening and canning with his grandmother.

We stayed a while, just talking on the pleasant porch that looked out over fields leading to the river. The lady was talking about how gullible some people could be, and told us this story:

from The Graphics Fairy website
"We had a calf that died, and my husband had to bury it. His sister came over later that day, and saw the newly dug ground and asked about it, so he told her about the calf. He said it had died way back on top of the hill, and she said, 'Oh my! How did you ever get it down here to bury it?'

'Well,' he said, 'it wasn't too hard. I just stood it up, and it would flop over on the downhill side. Then I'd stand it up again, and it would flop over, and I just kept doing that all the way down the hill.'

She was amazed,and told him how smart he was to figure that out!"

Her story reminded me of something that happened not too far from my house, about thirty years ago:

A neighbor had a cow that died one winter. The ground was frozen and he didn't want to try digging such a big hole in frozen earth, so he came up with the idea of using dynamite to blow the cow up. No need to bury it if it was pulverized, right? He put the dynamite under the cow and ran his fuse wires as far as he could. Now, he'd used a lot of dynamite, but he didn't have much fuse so the line was pretty short. He lit the fuse, and the dynamite blew that cow to pieces. Literally, there were bones hanging in the trees for several years afterwards.

The fuse being so short created another problem though--this man and his wife couldn't run away fast enough and so both of them were plastered with the smelly, exploding cow. I won't even repeat what the wife said to her man at that moment.

And that story reminds me of another, that also happened within a few miles of my house. Again, it was winter, and a cow died on a neighbor's farm. Rather than dig the hole, he figured he'd just bury some dynamite and blow a hole in the ground big enough to bury the cow. He got some dynamite--a lot of it--dug a hole, and buried it. His brother was watching the whole business, and he said that when the dynamite went off, dirt flew w-a-a-a-a-y up in the air and scattered for several hundred feet around the blast site. It worked--there was a huge hole, far bigger than needed for burying the poor cow. But the blast had blown the dirt over such a wide area that there was nothing left to cover the cow. And because the hole was so big, the guy had even more digging to than if he'd just buried the cow the right way in the first place.

All true stories, my friends, all true.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

3 comments:

Mac n' Janet said...

Sometimes avoiding work is more work.

Quinn said...

If you and I were sitting on a porch and you told me those three stories, I'd just shake my head, look concerned, and ask what the heck is killing all the cows in your neck of the woods ;)

Michelle said...

wow.....

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