Friday, February 15, 2008
Last night, an extended family member remarked about our cows, sheep, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, that they certainly tied us down. I have heard this more times than I care to remember. The remark always troubled me, until tonight. I never minded being "tied down", as one of my callings is to be a stockman. The daily routine vaires with the seasons, this time of year,each morning I do the following.
Open the barn door, and let out the cows. Each girl gets her grain. While they eat the grain I cut open a bale of hay. I refill the waterer. Feed and water the buck sheep, who stays in his bachelor Pen. Grain, water and hay the ewes (Called "yoes" in the local tongue) Let the heavy breed chickens, bantams and ducks out of their pen.
Thaw out the rabbit bottles, and feed the rabbits. Feed the dogs, and let them run a bit. Check the cat food. Each evening it is a similar routine, though everyone gets penned for the night.
On the rare occasions we go away for more than the day, I fret like a new mother leaving her child with a babysitter for the first time. Many adults expect to come and go as they please. Even a dog is avoided to avoid being "tied down". For many men my age, the their money makes it possible to ditch the bride of their youth (Who is now tying them down,) and find a newer model. Why are so many "adults" afraid of "being tied down"? At one time, adulthood was marked by responsibilities and a willingness to stand up to them. Our livestock ties me to this particular place on the planet, my family living and dead, my lovely wife, and the creatures themselves. The next time someone remarks about animals tying us down, I will reply, "I certainly hope so."