I am, without a doubt, a city girl.
of which were born and raised on farms and ranches. I was in Agriculture in school there. I joined FFA (Future Farmers of America). (Note: Mainly because I had a crush on a cute guy. and he was in it).
I raised some chickens for a fair, won Chicken category at the fair, killed my prized chickens, then pulled their feathers off (GROSS), and sold them to a restaurant. The fat stacks made me pretty much forget the horror of the kill. By then though, I figured that all that “country stuff” won me an honorary Country Girl badge. That, and I looked pretty awesome in overalls, straw hats, and cowboy boots.
I was wrong.
Over the years, I’ve come to accept that there are just things true country people can do that I will never, ever be comfortable with. I can not two-step. I am mathematically-inclined, yet unable to keep count when it comes to dancing. For some reason, both steps involved confuse me!! I can not now, nor will I ever, be able to castrate anything. I’m amazed I even know what that word means. I don’t want to raise anything from birth to adulthood, and then eat it. I know someone who actually writes the name of the animal that was butchered on the packages of meat. ie: Bessie/ground beef. I was speechless when the guy explained the names on the white butcher-papered covered meat in his freezer.
Yikes. I purposely don’t make eye contact with her cattle, nor do I learn their names.
The smells that waft about a farm are pretty gross sometimes, and foul smells literally make me angry. I have no idea why. You should see me when the cat box needs to be scrubbed. My family avoids me when I get like that. I hate stinkiness.
The country lacks familiar sounds at night, and it gets scary dark. Once, I was leaving Kim’s late in the evening, and she had to walk me to my car which was parked 4 feet outside of her garage door in the driveway. I was really spooked by the lack of light and sound. The three minutes it took to drive down the gravel roads to hit the high way just about gave me a heart attack. The music from Deliverance kept running through my head.
In the time that I’ve been going out to Kim’s, I’ve learned a lot. I now can pick a chicken hawk out of a line-up. I found out that skunks eat chickens. That one was a real surprise. I’ve been chased by a rooster, more than once. The cheeky little bastard is not intimidated by me at all. Whenever Kim bursts in the door these days, calling for my help, I brace myself for the unexpected. Today, it was a snake that had killed a chicken and was in the coop eating the eggs.
Kim is the country-est girl I know, so I usually feel safe with her, even though nothing like this ever happens to me except when I’m with her. Yes, she always says she needs my help, but rarely do I ever feel useful in these country dilemmas. The Chicken-Hawk Dilemma had me looking to see if the hawk had dropped his dinner/her favorite hen somewhere where it could be rescued. I don’t think we ever found the poor chicken. I cried all the way home.
The Skunk Dilemma left a casualty behind. I never even caught a glimpse of the thing; only the aftermath. I cried a little over that one too.
Today, though, the Snake Dilemma was way more dramatic. Kim and I are terrified of snakes. I only know a few kinds of snakes right off the top of my head, and those are the really deadly kinds….cobra, rattlesnake, copperhead, coral, and water moccasins. So, when Kim yelled out it was a copperhead, my nervous system just about shut down.
I won’t bore you with the details. Let’s just say, an hour and 30 bullets later, we had killed ourselves a snake…a non-poisonous black snake. At first, the thing hid in one of the
chicken-nest thingies that the chicken’s lay eggs in, terrified of these two screeching humans jumping all over the place and waving shovels and shotguns in the air. Then, after about 20 shots, it overcame it’s fear and was mocking us for our inability to hit our target from two feet away. It even stuck it’s head out of the coop and flicked it’s tongue out in a jeering, snide way. Trust me. I know when I’m being disrespected.
On top of everything, the shotgun and the handgun both kept jamming, and twice this gigantic rooster kept squaring off with me while I was supposed to be watching to make sure the snake didn’t make it’s big escape while Kim went to get more bullets. I will admit, I’m afraid of the rooster. It’s bad enough that this chicken doesn’t respect me, but the snake being unafraid of me even when I was shooting at it, was rather embarrassing.
Kim finally nailed the sucker in the head from about 4 inches away, and I used this weird pincher thing to pull it out of the nest and then I tried to use a hoe and a machete to cut it’s head off. GROSS!!!! I couldn’t cut the head off, though I tried repeatedly. The body of the snake kept moving like it was alive, and I was freaked out. Kim kept saying it was dead and the movements were just reflexes but I remain unconvinced. We washed the blood and guts from the various tools and went back to work. Secretly, though, we both felt pretty awesome. We had killed a massive, 4 foot, non-poisonous snake that had no where to run and no where to hide.
Superheros? Oh, yes.
On the way home a few hours later, I remembered Kim mentioning that this was the second snake in a week that had been up by the house. The other one had been on their back porch sunning itself, and had actually been a copperhead, and I felt all that “bad-ass”-ery drain right from my body.
What if that wasn’t the only snake on Kim’s farm? In the year that I’ve been going out there, I’ve seen scorpions, snakes, skunk leftovers, chicken hawks, vultures, buzzards, and other bugs that look vicious. That doesn’t include the tornadoes that we’ve hung together through. It’s only a matter of time before a tornado blows me into those woods and something in there eats me.
I can just feel it.