Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Swine, Hydraulics & Song

Seeing a big snapping turtle the other day brings to mind some things from my childhood.

When I was a little girl, I was a bit of a tomboy,,,,,, but still, I was afraid of lots of things.

My dad had pigs in a pasture that was too far to carry food and water to,,,, so he built this platform thing that he hooked up to the hydraulic hoses on the back of the tractor. He put the feed buckets and a water barrel on the platform while it was down level with the ground, and then he would use the hydraulic mechanism to lift the platform up a few feet and drive the load to the pasture with the tractor. My sister and I called this rig, "the pig lift".

We loved to ride on the pig lift........and "help" our Dad feed the hogs. He would sometimes teach us a song while he drove, That's where I learned

So I climbed up the old apple tree
For a pie was a real thing to me
She stood down below
With her apron spread "so"
To catch all the apples, you see
It looked like a picnic for me
But just then the limb broke; holy gee!
And I broke seven bones
And half-killed Maggie Jones
In the shade of the old apple tree

Or would you like to swing on a star

Carry moonbeams home in a jar

And be better off than you are

Or would you rather be a pig?

A pig is an animal with dirt on his face

His shoes are a terrible disgrace

He has no manners when he eats his food

He's fat and lazy and extremely rude

But if you don't care a feather or a fig

You may grow up to be a pig

Or would you like to swing on a star

Carry moonbeams home in a jar

And be better off than you are

In the springtime the barrel that held the water for the pigs often held something else.......Snapping turtles! As many as four or five, my Dad had a friend who liked to eat them, so whenever he saw a snapper on the farm, he would pick it up by the tail and throw it in the barrel. Of course, we thought our Dad was the bravest and strongest man in the world (I still do)......I remember him putting a broomstick in the barrel, a turtle broke it like a toothpick!

I was such a fraidy cat.......I knew the turtles were safely confined in the barrel.......but I didn't even want to look at them......but I was secretly thrilled to know they were in there!

Did you ever smell a snapping turtle? If you had, you would remember! P.U.!!!!

But the smell and my fear didn't stop me from riding on the pig lift,,,,,,,,,, and I learned some great songs, too. I have other stories about the pigs,,,,,,,,, next time, maybe.

1 comment:

Lacelibrarian said...

It just so happens that I have a version of Swinging On a Star sung by Bing Crosbie. I think he introduced that song in Bells of St. Mary, didn't he? I will have to IMDB that and find out for sure!