Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Tails From the Farm

Murphy’s Law
Owning critters comes with a good deal of responsibility. They’re living, breathing animals that count on their human for all their needs. There’s no excuse to ever forget to feed or water. It’s something that should be ingrained in every animal owner. If you’re down to your last ten dollars, and the choice is feed for your animals, or something you want, the choice must always, automatically be, feed the animals. It still annoys me to hear people say they can’t afford the basics like feed and good fences, when I managed to take care of all the needs of seventeen horses when I was seventeen years old. On top of that, I also owned a lovely, German shepherd dog I adored, and a pickup truck that I had to check the gas and fill the oil on. If I could afford to take care of my animals on a pittance of a wage, I figure a good income, fancy house and car sort of person surely should.
There were years that I struggled to find quality hay. Years that the snow was so deep, the weather so cold, that hauling water was a brutal task. Watering in the summer is easy. Enough garden hose attached to each other, and you could pretty well reach anywhere. I’ve hauled all kinds of hay, all kinds of ways as well. I learned to sprinkle loose livestock salt between layers of small square bales as I stacked them. It helps to draw moisture out and the worry of mould starting. I stacked small squares in the shape of a house, so that the tarp would shed the rain and melting snow. Driving semi opened up new doors for me. Suddenly, instead of hauling with a pickup truck, I could go big, and big was great.
Watering in the winter continued to be the bane of my existence, especially during the winter. If I had a quarter for every five gallon pail of water I’ve hauled, I’d likely have a five gallon bucket of quarters. I’d love to have a bucket of quarters. I wonder how much that would add up to.
Anyway, when hubby and I bought our farm and began to put in corrals, we also began to buy garden hoses. Enough garden hose to reach the furthest trough in the farthest corral. The problem with garden hose is, the longer the length, the lower the pressure. It took forever to fill one trough, and it was imperative that you didn’t forget to move the hose, too. It often took all day to fill all the troughs, especially on a hot day. That poor pressure pump seemed to run nonstop at times, and when I forgot to shut off the tap, it really did run nonstop. So many nights, I would waken to the sound of the pump running, and have to race outside to shut the tap. I’ll hazard a guess that in the thirty-four years we’ve owned this farm, we’ve replaced a half dozen pumps.
My talented hubby built me a water trailer, then a water truck as well. Instead of all day, and the risk of flooded corrals, I could now fill a tank in forty minutes, and top off or fill all the troughs, in no time at all.
Now I only have to remember that I have a tank filling. One would think that an easy thing to do, yet for me, not so much. I get busy, and it’s easy to get sidetracked.
Like today, for instance. I got busy, and completely forgot that the water truck was filling. By the time I remembered, there was a rather lovely pond and stream running from the house, by the garage, and it was tickling the lawn. The title of a movie came to mind. A river runs through it. Good thing hubby had decided to take a nap. If I was at all lucky, the threatening clouds would open up and hide the evidence of my forgetfulness.
The poor water truck creaked and groaned in protest, as I slowly drove it to the back, then from trough to trough. I never fill it to capacity. The truck is a little Jimmy, and at just over ten pounds per Imperial gallon, the two hundred and fifty gallons it had to carry because of me, was ridiculously heavy. I could almost hear the little truck weeping. Poor Jimmy.
Of course I couldn’t catch a break. Those darn clouds couldn’t do me a big favour and let loose with the rain. Tons of rumbling thunder, flashes of dramatic lightning, but rain? No way.
Well, maybe hubby would nap longer.
I was barely in the house, when he was getting up and appeared about to go outside.
“It’s still super hot out there,” I suggested, “and it’s about to pour, too. Sit and I’ll get you a drink.”
“I have things to do,” still heading for the door, he wasn’t about to be distracted. The second he stepped out the door, I heard what I was expecting.
“Hey! Did you overfill the truck?”
“No. I guess we got hit by one of those freak storm cells,” I practically snorted, “You know how crazy weather can be.”
Grumbling under his breath, he headed off to lock up. Of course it began to pour minutes later. Darn that Murphy and his laws!

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About Trudy Andrew

Trudy Andrew lives on a small farm just east of Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she enjoys her Morgan horses. A dreamer since she was a child, its no surprise to those who know her well that her imagination would find an outlet in writing, as it has in the past through artwork.
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 Oakbank, MB