Sunday, September 11, 2011

In Her Own Words - The Livestock and Such

Another chapter in the memoirs of Ethel Hymers Glewwe, and her childhood growing up in Saskatchewan, Canada - 1910-1918

     "I don't remember too much about building the barn except Papa wanted to have a name for his farm and when he had been working on the telephone lines he had found some antelope or deer antlers, so he chose Deer Horn Ranch.   He nailed the deer horns on the wall in the peak of the roof and they remained there for many years.  The barn wasn't very big and a few years later he had to build a bigger one but this one was much better than the sod barn.  We kept the cows in the sod barn for a while, and then they finally moved into a lean-to that Papa put on the barn.

We had four teams of horses in the barn and I can remember their names.  King and Dock, the team from the fire department, and Jack and Bell, Jim and Dolly and Dan and Clair.  We had single horses for the buggy and riding.

Mama with Dock, King, Bell and Dan

    My horse's name was Prince.  He had a white face and was a trained cow pony.  Then we had Kit, a beautiful dapple grey and high-stepping Fly.  Nugget was a bronco and if you weren't careful, would buck you off.  We also had Maud, Jenny and Lady.  Maud and Jenny we bred and let run with their colts.  Lady was a pacer and Papa had bought her from a racing horse stable.  Allen always rode her to school.  She always wanted to race, and when I rode to school on my pony, Prince, we often raced the half mile to the crossroads on our way home from school.

    We had names for the cows also.  There was white-faced Daisy and black-faced Daisy, then Sutton who belonged to a farmer named Sutton who died and his widow gave us the cow when she left the farm.  There was Bessie, Nancy, Patsy, and my cow's name was Bertha.  I have my picture taken with it when it was a calf.  It was our first calf and Grandpa said it was a girl so he would name it after his first daughter. (I wonder if my Aunt Bertha ever knew we had a cow named after her?)

     We had some pigs but we only named the mama pig.  She was Sally and she had a lot of little pigs every year.  Sally was very tame and if we was alone in the pen Papa would put me on her back and I'd hold onto her ears. She would give me a ride all around the pen.  I used to scratch her behind the ears.  She would come over to the fence and wait for me.

     We had some white turkeys.  Turkeys are a very difficult type of fowl to raise.  They keep close together in a flock and sometimes become attached to a leader gobbler, who might decide to leave the protection of the farm yard for a hollow in a field or a dry creek bed.  This was dangerous to their safety.  At night they would huddle together with no protection from the prowling wolves or coyotes.  You can't drive turkeys - they just won't go where you want them to.  Once Papa had to search them out and it was a good thing they were white because Mama, Papa and I sneaked up on them and caught them and put them in sacks.  Some got away but we got the gobbler and the next morning the stragglers had come back home.  Papa cut their wings so they couldn't fly away and we had to put up a fence to keep them home.  Mama didn't raise many turkeys after that.  We had ducks and geese but Mama didn't like them.  They were such dirty fowl.  They always tried to bathe in their drinking water.  We couldn't waste so much water.  Mama had to make a special drinking pan just for the ducks.  They didn't wander away, they stayed in the farm yard.  I didn't like the geese and the old gander always wanted to chase me and he'd scare me.  Mama always canned chicken and turkey, but we sold the geese and ducks in town at Williams' Store.  Sometimes Papa would shoot rabbits and Mama canned them too.  We always had some kind of meat over the winter, later we even smoked meat when we butchered a pig."

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