Another Taste of the Lazy Farmer

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Here are some Lazy Farmer rhymes that I don’t believe I’ve used before. The first one, from the October 17, 1953, issue of the Ohio Farmer is somewhat apropos of the season, as is the last one.

About the only time I rue the growing old we all must do is when October starts to fade, and plans for Hallowe’en are made. When I was young, no greater joy could come to any country boy than throwing folks into a fright with what we’d do them that night. Today, the kids are sissified, they seem to be quite satisfied to let their scheming parents cheat them with that silly “tricks or treat.” But we thought Hallowe’en no good ‘less we tore up the neighborhood and took a calculated chance of having rock salt warm our pants.

It’s true, of course, that nowadays there simply ain’t as many ways to upset, disrupt and destroy as there were when I was a boy. Who’s got a buggy that can be put on a roof for all to see? You can’t push Cadillacs around like we did Model T’s we found; and almost ev’ry place now lacks those little, out-back, half-moon shacks we overturned with great delight upon that gay October night. I s’pose that inside plumbing’s fine, and yet I’ll prob’ly always pine for old-style Hallowe’ens when we still had the outside type, by gee.

Then there’s this 1954 advice for young men from someone who’s “been there and done that.”

There’s nothing young men learn so soon as that life ain’t no honeymoon, and it takes more than just a kiss to guarantee you wedded bliss. I once thought all I had to know was how to be a Romeo, but lots of years have wandered by since last I even dared to try to chuck Mirandy ‘neath the chin and change her mood from frown to grin. The first two weeks that we were wed, she’d pat me gently on the head or plant a kiss upon my nose and say, “My dear, do you suppose that you could take the time to go and bring a chunk of wood or so?”

Them days did not last very long, and now I know there’s something wrong unless she says, with thund’rous boom, “Get wood!” and shoves me with the broom. If I should take her in my arms and turn on all my many charms, she might melt like she used to do and issue orders with a coo; but that for sure I’ll never know, I can’t get close enough, by Joe. I’m sure t’would save a lot of pain if some kind soul would just explain to bridegrooms that their kissing score won’t help ‘em out for evermore; the thing them boys will really need is shiftiness and running speed.

And finally, one from November 1954, describing how the Lazy Farmer works like a beaver (heh-heh) getting everything ready for winter – which reminds me …

You’d have to label me, I guess, a stickler for preparedness ‘cause one thing I won’t tolerate is any tendency to wait ‘til winter slaps us in the face before we’re set around this place. Mirandy never can believe that summer’s gentleness will leave; she always claims there’s lots of time to get prepared for tougher clime, and so I’ve got to crack my whip or we’d be trapped in winter’s grip. If little squirrels ain’t so dumb but what they’re set when snowstorms come, it seems to me that humans ought to be as sure they don’t get caught.

Hence, when November comes in sight, we’re buttoned up all good and tight. Because of how I’ve had things planned, Mirandy and the hired man have got the barn jammed full of hay, there’s straw enough to last ‘til May; the pump’s been packed to keep it snug, the bins are full, the spuds are dug; each window that required repair is stuffed with rags to stop cold air. Meanwhile I’ve made the stove all fit, I moved the sofa nearer it and shelled out hard-earned money for a pile of wood beside the door. Those squirrels really ain’t so smart, a bear is closer to my heart.

– Sam Moore

The header for Lazy Farmer in the October 17, 1953 Ohio Farmer.

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