Farm Collector


A pleasant afternoon in May has completely captivated me. I am
sitting quite comfortably on a pile of new lumber, out in back of
the barn. We are doing some needed remodeling and the lumber has
been here for some time. Ah! That piney smell! It brings back
memories of vacations in pine woods, a brand new cabin we stayed in
one night, and some mountains we climbed in Glacier National Park
last summer.

Under the circumstances I’m sorry I didn’t hunt up this
spot before. Yes there are even hints of Christmas trees in this
clean fragrance, but a cabin among pine trees, with a clear air all
around would suit me anytime and NO CATS.

Change of locality Mary and I have come to our farm pond. She
has taken off her tennis shoes and is attempting retrieval of the
poor old sinking rowboat. Here we find just plain old summer smells
water, fish, and the sand beach which we have on one end, and also

Now Mary is getting some trout chow. Ah! The colorful fish are
leaping way out of the water in rain bowed joy and appreciation.
The Head of the Family has now joined us and he and Mary have
tipped the water out of the boat and she has it out on the pond.
Mother like, I wonder at the wisdom of it. Father is fixing a
screen across the overflow as heavy rains brought the water to
almost overflow level. The drainage tile water is being pumped into
it from the pump bay. Things are looking up at Lake Almae.

Mary has returned with almost as much water in her conveyance as
she had before they tipped it over. The truth is, we need a new
boat, but NO MORE CATS.

Onto more fragrance and beauty also. Whatever could smell as
fresh as a woodland in the spring? Violets are daintily blossoming
under foot and not a mosquito to molest my enjoyment. Someone has
parked the aging side delivery rake in an open spot here in the
woodlot. A shooting star has pushed its blossom up through the
rusty tines. The high metal seat makes an excellent perch for me
and my writing-pad. Some ambitious bird is chitchatting away
merrily up over my head. I can’t determine what kind he or she
is. Anyway her music is downright cheerful. I will assume only
females trill like that.

A walk in the woods should’ produce a suitable, sittable
stump. Not this one, it has raspberry or blackberry bushes tangled
all around it.

Ahhere is a fallen tree. After careful scrutiny I decide no
Jimmy Skunk or Snippy Snake is living here, so decide to set for a
spell. Lovely ferns are curling up over its side. Wild geraniums,
and some sticky persistent little pest of a plant are

Last year we planted a couple of packages of wild flower seed
here under the trees. We are looking for flower catalog results.
Here are NO CATS.

But Back up at the house now that is quite another matter. Three
absolutely tireless young kittens are busily shredding one of my
avidly anticipated and carefully cultivated flower beds to nothing
but ruins. Maybe I came out here to escape the pain of watching
them, or I may have feared I would commit murder before the sun
sets on my wrath. I am almost certain those kittens shall be moved
to the barn TONIGHT.

If I can retrieve my sweater from a blackberry bush this
Patricia Rabbit will go back to the haunts of the working farm
wife. No not yet. I see a trillium. and how comfortably the brown
leaves rustle underfoot, Surely I must lay one blue violet across
my page, for the sake of sentiment. Over to my left the shooting
stars are spreading their basal leaves into a proper collar to
frame the anticipated flowers. A wild strawberry thrusts three sets
of three-loabed, saw-toothed leaves toward the warm sun. A yellow
violet just said, ‘Hi there!” Now a mayflower adds his

Well I can’t put it off. It’s back to the kittens and if
they have done more damage, who knows the outcome? Right now they
don’t have a kittnish appeal to me whatsoever, But I expect
they will grow up. Cats usually do. In the meantime what about my
lovely hosta lilies, and my, vinca minor, and OH! THOSE POOR BROKEN
OFF TULIPS!, There is a choice to make. Either ‘ it is the
kitten to the barn or me to the woods. After all there are mice
that need catching in the barn. On second thought I DO live in my
house among my flower beds and I like it here. I have decided to
stay. Not one being given to escapism my squatter’s’ rights

  • Published on Sep 1, 1964
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