Hi everyone, I hope you’re having an enchanting Monday wherever you may be. If your day has been less than enchanting maybe I can at least amuse you for a little while. My latest magazine article came out recently, and I’m going to share it with you today. Why don’t you take a break from your usual Monday grind and read about some of the stranger things I learned growing up on a farm.
The (Odd) Lessons I Learned Growing Up On a Farm
Over the years I’ve read dozens of articles describing the profound life lessons that you learn growing up on a farm. Most of these seem to touch on similar ideals. They tend to say things like, “Life on a farm taught me the value of hard work” or “Farming instilled in me a love for animals.”
I enjoy reading these articles. Being raised on a farm taught me many wonderful life lessons. However, it also taught me a vast array of bizarre things along the way, and I feel like those more offbeat lessons are often overlooked. So, here are just a few of the odder things that I learned growing up on a farm:
The Ability Identify Types of Manure by Smell Alone
My family raises mostly cattle. However, we’ve owned a wide variety of different farm animals at one time or another, and at some point in my life I realized something strange. I’d developed a keen sense of smell for animal droppings.
Go ahead. Laugh if you want. I’ve spoken to several other farmers about this very subject, and after getting over the initial weirdness of a guy asking about the smell of manure, they admitted that they too could tell the difference. I’m fully convinced that you could kidnap me off the street and dump me blindfolded into a random animal pen, and I’d be able to identify what type of animal you’ve imprisoned me with using only the power of my nose.
(Author’s Note: Please do not test this theory.)
I know this is a weird subject to write about, but you’ve got to admit that’s some pretty impressive nose-work. It’s kind of like a superpower, albeit a pretty lame one. Although, I doubt the Justice League will be inviting me to join the team anytime soon. However, Superman, if you happens to read this article just know that The Manure Marvel is always willing to lend his unique abilities to assist you with fighting evil.
(Author’s Note: The Manure Marvel is only my tentative superhero name. I’m also considering Professor Poop and Doctor Dung.)
How to Hypnotize a Chicken
For some reason people rarely believe me when I tell them that I can hypnotize a chicken. I assume it’s because they’re picturing this stubby red-bearded writer chasing a chicken around the yard with a pocket watch while yelling, “BACOCK! You’re feeling sleepy, very sleepy!”
Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. I don’t remember exactly who taught me this cool little trick, but I’m going to share the secret with you folks. All you have to do is catch a chicken, gently push its head down until its beak is resting flat on the ground, and starting at its beak draw a line in the dirt with your finger. The chicken should stare ahead unmoving until you touch it. That’s it! You now know how to hypnotize a chicken, or some chickens at least. It doesn’t always work on the more rambunctious fowls.
You’re probably asking right now, “How could hypnotizing a chicken ever possibly be of any use to me? Out of all the lessons you learned on the farm you share this one, Chase? You’re awful at writing and should run away and go live in a hole.”
Firstly, that’s pretty hurtful, Hypothetical Person I just made up. Secondly, these are the “odd” lessons I learned on a farm, not necessarily the most useful.
However, this lesson did serve me well once when I started taking bets at a petting zoo that I could hypnotize the chickens. I managed to swindle a few dollars from some gullible kids before the owner kindly asked me to stop hustling his customers.
Never Stand on a Gate
This particular lesson probably seems less odd and more like commonsense. When you stand on a gate you risk bending the hinges, stripping the bolts, or warping the entire gate. However, while the lesson itself may not be particularly odd, how I actually learned it can certainly be considered unorthodox.
To my recollection I’ve stood on a gate a grand total of twice in my life. The first time I was around ten years old. My Uncle Chris and I were working cows at the barn, and during a lull in the work I climbed onto a gate and started bouncing on it like a trampoline. I was just considering doing an epic, backflip dismount when Uncle Chris smacked me on the back of the head and said, “Boy, never stand on a gate. That’s strike one.”
The second and last time I ever stood on a gate was approximately fifteen minutes later. Being a distractible child with the attention span of a drunk fruit fly, I’d forgotten about the first warning and climbed back onto the exact same gate. My feet had barely left the dirt when Uncle Chris spoke from behind me, “Strike two. You’re out.”
I was about to tell my uncle that I didn’t think he fully grasped the intricacies of the three strike system of baseball. However, before I could turn around a slight buzz sounded behind me. Suddenly, the back of my leg felt like it was being stabbed by a sword forged entirely from the stingers of a thousand irate bubble bees.
With a high pitched squeal I leapt off the gate and spun to face Uncle Chris. He pointed the dangerous end of the hotshot at me and pressed button again sending blue sparks dancing across the metal prongs. He flashed me a roguish smile and said, “I bet you never climb a gate again.”
I cherish all of the profound lessons growing up on a farm taught me about life. I learned the satisfaction of a hard day’s work. I learned to respect the land and the animals under my care. However, you better believe that I’d quit my job and burn down the farm before I so much as prop my foot on a gate again. Some lessons in life don’t have to be profound to really stick with you.
I hope you enjoyed the article this month. If you’d like to read more of my mindless ramblings feel free to check out some of my older works in the archives section of the blog or follow me all the time by liking my Facebook page. The link is in the top menu of the blog. If you want to be just an all-around awesome human being you can share this article on your Facebook page or other social media thingy. Just click on the little share button below, and you’ll be my hero for the day.