Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Great Experiment: Farm Teeth

Being raised on a farm, I was outfitted with balls of steel. Situations that would make your average city dweller cringe, vomit, or breakdown crying with compassion, I found common. Castrating pigs, gutting cows, or hurling petrified cow turds at my brother, were just everyday happenings on the farm.

Our farm was infested with groundhogs. Groundhog holes are dangerous for livestock because they can fall into the holes, breaking their legs, ultimately killing them. Livestock are incredibly expensive commodities, therefore damage control is imperative to prevent these situations.

The groundhog, though known livestock nuisance, are also vicious assholes, known to chase children down in attempts to maul them to death.Dastardly creatures; cute, but evil. Luckily for my siblings and I, our beloved companion, Beauregard J PuppyDog, was our defender and ground hog assassin, who saved us from numerous groundhog attacks. Beau was a badass killer who left a fair share of slain groundhog carcasses on our front porch to admire. Unfortunately, we had a couple of other dogs and cats that perished at the fangs of the dreaded groundhog. One puppy, our beloved Bouncer, suffered his jaw being ripped off by one of these nefarious creatures during a scuffle, and had to be put down.

Every spring, the farmhands would drive the fence around our pasture with long-range rifles and cases of beer. They would sit there for hours looking through the scopes on their rifles, waiting for a groundhog to pop up and then shoot it. It was a fantastically exciting event on our farm, and I LOVED hanging around them during this time. The beer, the cussing! It was magical. I also successfully executed my first revenge on another living being during that time. I shot a groundhog, and did it feel so good! Roy, the farm hand, gently placed his rifle on my shoulder, instructing me where to look and guiding my little fingers to the trigger. I gazed through the finder and saw the tiny, fuzzy image of a groundhog. I steadied, and then pulled the trigger, watching the once erect figure, slump to the ground. I was eight and it was glorious.

The day I shot that damn ground hog, I did it for Bouncer, man.

One day, my sister and I were walking through the pastures, looking for some cows to bully and we found a rotting ground hog carcass. After inspecting it thoroughly, WITH OUR BARE HANDS, we yanked its jaw out, then started unhinging its teeth to fashion a necklace in honor of Bouncer. I don’t recall ever seeing anything similar to this done in a movie, so I believe it's proof that savagery and revenge are inherent human emotions.

We collected our treasure and headed inside to have dinner. My mother was aghast when she noticed why my sister and I were requesting a needle and thread; subsequently making us throw away our bounty of revenge.

We had fried chicken for dinner that night. I can’t remember if I washed my hands.

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  1. You are on tough chick....I will not be messing with you :)

  2. You had me at "balls of steel".

  3. Great story. Brave, visceral. Gets my vote for sure!

  4. FOR BOUNCER, MAN! I loved this.

  5. I have never heard of a groundhog attack. Good story !

  6. Gutsy girl... remind me never to meet you in a dark alley!

  7. You must have smelled pretty ripe. Funny story, though.

  8. Oh, we always smelled ripe. There had been many times that we were literally hosed off before we were allowed into the house and straight to the bathroom.

    Funny Story, my friend's daddy was a pig farmer and they were a small outfit that would slaughter on site. Once the carcasses were harvested, they would throw them behind an old barn, way out on their property line. Well, she and her siblings would then go and jump on the dead pigs because the carcasses would swell as they rotted, becoming quite buoyant. Well, finally after a few years of hosing rotted pig off of the kids, her parents bought them a trampoline with the understanding that the children were not to jump on the dead pigs anymore.

    Farm kids..... We're weird.