Last of the Lazy Farmer: Air Conditioning and Fishing
I’ve plumbed the depths of my stash of old “Lazy Farmer” rhymes and these are the last two I can find.
The first is from May 15, 1954.
Mirandy says she will not rest until I bow to her request
that I rush out and buy for her a fancy air conditioner.
She says she cannot stand to meet another stretch of summer heat,
and since there’s modern gadgets now to keep the sweat from off your brow,
she threatens if we don’t get one, that there’ll be no more housework done.
Those things, she says, will cool us down just like a restaurant in town;
and though one might cost a bit, she claims I’ll gain a lot from it
because she’ll feel more vigorous and also less cantankerous.
Those arguments sound mighty good, but still I can’t see why I should
spend money for a man-made breeze that might cause chills and make me sneeze.
I’ve never seen a summer yet when it wasn’t possible to set
beside a window where the air would gently ruffle through my hair
and cool me off much better than an artificial gadget can.
Besides, if we should get a thing like boughten air conditioning,
Mirandy might be tempted to stay in the house and never do
the outside work she must get done ’cause I’m allergic to the sun.
The last is from fifteen years earlier on May 30, 1939.
When corn is planted I can’t wait to dig me up some jucy bait
and hie me off down to the crick, where bass are hidin’, fat and thick,
a-waitin’ to be tempted by an angleworm a-floatin’ by.
I like to match wits with them fish, a-thinkin’ of the tasty dish
they’ll make when smokin’ on a plate when they meet their rendezvous with fate.
There ain’t a thing a feller lacks in life if he can just watch the cork a-floatin’ free,
a-waitin’ till some hungry fish will make a dive at it, and swish!
you land him on the bank beside, with water sparklin’ on his hide.
My neighbor works from sun to sun and never has no time for fun;
he thinks that fishin’s a waste of time, he doesn’t have no taste
for sittin’ with his soul at peace, he’s thinkin’ of more land he’ll lease
next year to grow a bigger crop, he ain’t got sense enough to stop,
that feller makes a lot of noise, but misses most of lifetime’s joys.
I don’t mind work if I can unload it onto the hired man,
but what’s the use of livin’ if you just grow old and sour and stiff
without no days to look back to when you did just what you like to do?
The neighbor thinks that I’m a fool for wastin’ time beside the pool,
a day of fishin; brings my youth right back to me, and that’s the truth!
I’ve tried to discover the identity of the real person behind the “Lazy Farmer,” but have never been successful. Whoever the author his skirmishes with “Mirandy,” while trying to avoid a lick of work, are always entertaining as is the drawing that accompanies each rhyme.
– Sam Moore
The Lazy Farmer illustration from May 30, 1939, Michigan Farmer.
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