Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Simon and Lester

One night about a month ago there was a knock on the door.   A young Amish man was on the porch.  He asked if I had any pigeons.  I was a bit taken aback by the question.  I knew I had pigeons in the barn at times but the cats had chased most of them into the silos.  I told the young man I thought there might be some in there still but why?  He said someone offered him $3.50 for each pigeon he could provide and that he was going around to local farms asking if he could catch their pigeons.  "That's good money, he said.  Not wanting to discourage this young man's entrepreneurial spirit I said, let's go take a look.  I took him to the silo room where I thought I heard some coo-ing at times.  The silo is sixty feet high and I wouldn't trust the rusty ladder going up to the top where the pigeons roost.  The young man said he was going to get "another fellow" who turned out to be Simon, waiting in the buggy with the horse in the driveway.  I thought I should let Matt know what was going on at that point and went inside to tell him.  Well, Mr. OSHA Instructor came out pretty quick to see what's what.  I was relieved when he said, very nicely, that it might not be such a good idea to climb to the top of the silo to catch pigeons in the dark.  He said it was not the fall he was concerned about but the sudden stop.   The young men were very polite and said if we had any work they could do to please let them know.  Lester handed me his father's business card.  They live near my friend, Julia, who owns Button Falls Farm.  I showed them a strip of barn floor that runs past the milk house door and chicken room.  Years of dropping hay and animals pooping on it resulted in a packed tight layer of mud that prevented me from opening the milk house door properly and annoyed the heck out of me.  Visitors wanting to "help on the farm" never managed to get it done.  I totally understand as it's back breaking work to chip it up then haul it outside in a wheelbarrow.  The boys left and I wondered if I would see them again.   They have demands on their time at home I'm sure.  Last night around seven there was a knock on the door again .  It was Lester and Simon saying they were ready to work if I was ready for them.  Ready?  I said, sure, but did they want to haul manure out in the snow?  They said "We like it that way!" very enthusiastically.  They went to work and boy, did they work - hacking, chipping, shoveling and hauling.  I went about my business with the bunnies, goats, sheep and chickens.  I was thoroughly enjoying the show.  I could get used to this, I thought to myself....young men working feverishly to get the job done.    An hour and a half later I could sense they were thinking this is enough for the night.  I said why don't you guys get going as you must have school tomorrow.  Oh, no, we don't go to school anymore, we're Amish, and we only go to 8th grade.  We're finished.  I paid them and they promised to come back to do my chicken room when they were able to get away.  Lester and his family of eight milk 21 cows, twice a day, by hand.  I offered to pick them up next time, as I was keenly aware of the poor horse standing outside in the snow.  They said that would be fantastic.  It was great walking on a concrete floor last night.  I'll try to keep it that way.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

That's a great story Maggie, so interesting to get a glimpse into the life of the Amish. Thanks for sharing.