Thursday, May 17, 2012
On a ranch or farm there seems to be more poop scoopin' than other places. I've done more than my fair share of scoopi'n over the years. When we first came to Colorado, Pappy, my grandfather, had rabbits. Lots of rabbits. A whole chicken house full! I remember going out with him to feed his rabbits. Of course, all that food makes for lots of rabbit poo. (I once was told the little pellets were raisins. Yet still, I'm not warped. . .) Along with the rabbits that Pappy butchered were the little bunnies he sold. He also sold rabbit poo. The rabbit poo was watered down in a pile outside of the chicken house, and mixed with some shredded newspaper and garbage, like coffee grounds, crushed egg shells, and all the other stuff you use to make compost.
He would bag it up and sell it to the neighbors for their gardens of flowers and such. I thought it was fun to go into the rabbit house, scoop up the poo, and put it in a wheelbarrow. I was helping. And I got paid 25 cents. So, that was my first poop scooping experience. Then we moved and had to get rid of all the rabbits.
We got a dog. Second poop scooping experience. But, it wasn't like doing the rabbit poo. I didn't really care for having to do it.
Then my sister and I got to go to the ranch. My aunt and uncle had this huge ranch up in Kremmling. There were cows, horses, chickens, goats, lambs, dogs, cats, and some wild critters that came up to the ranch house, such as elk, deer, skunks, rabbits, and even a mountain lion once or twice. (I think they could smell some of old Joe's water repellent or bug spray.) There was even a bear or two because of Aunt Nadine's berry patch. So, there was tons of poo. You could walk hardly anywhere without stepping in poo.
You ever scoop horse poo? Now, that's a job. I'd never seen so much poo. Uncle Fay was always scoopin' it out of the barn. Well, he talked me and my sister into helping him one day. We made short work of it. Instead of a wheelbarrow, he had this wagon hooked up to a tractor. We'd scoop the poop and throw it into the wagon. What my sister and I didn't know was that there was a cow barn or two also.
Did you know that scoopin' poop can be an all day job? We didn't.
And once you fill up that wagon, you have to also unload that wagon. The ranch had a special place to unload all that poo. Our cousins called it, POOP MOUNTAIN. You have never seen such a HUGE pile of poo in your life. And there was more than one of these mountains. Now, why in the world would you have all of these piles of poo? They were so big that one time Uncle Fay had several of these big old belly dump type trucks come out to the ranch, and they used a front end loader to load up the trucks, and haul away the poo.
Well, my cousins, being the way they are, always had something going on, even if it was a little on the scary -- or just a might illegal -- side. Did you ever have a road apple fight? Do you know what road apples are? If not, it's horse poo. And when it dries it is almost like throwing dirt clods, except that if you get hit in the face with one??? It doesn't taste like dirt.
Every now and then we would all end up at POOP MOUNTAIN and have some of the best poop fights in the world. 'Course, once the flinging of the poo starts, there is more than road apples being thrown. Did you know that you can throw a cow patty just like a Frisbee? But, you have to make sure it is dry enough.
It was so much fun. Where else could you throw stuff and not have to worry about knocking someone out or putting a lump on someone's head. The only bad thing was that you had to watch how you laughed. If your mouth was open too far you could get a pie or apple right in the mouth. But we never knocked a tooth out, like you could with a dirt clod.
It seemed that Aunt Nadine always knew when we had been out to POOP MOUNTAIN. She would catch us about 20 or 30 feet from the back door and make us get undressed on the back porch. And then it was straight to the tub for a bath. Once, Aunt Nadine was gone and Old Joe saw us coming. When we got close enough, he told us to turn around and march down toward the horse barn. When we got down to the barn, he made us get undressed, and he proceeded to pick us up one at a time and throw us into the horse trough. He made us scrub up and he used a pitch fork to pick up our clothes, which he then carried at arm's length, up to the back porch.
When Aunt Nadine came home, we were still in the trough, splashing and having a good time. Old Joe told her where we had been. She laughed that he didn't take us into the house and use the tub. Old Joe rolled a smoke, looked Nadine square in the eye, and said "water is water."