Monday, August 27, 2007

"Oxen in Summertime", by Maud Lewis

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the Brooklyn (CT) Agricultural Fair with Noah, Jessy, Jaimie, and Ava Elizabeth. (Jessy and 4-month-old Ava could stay for only a few minutes, because of the heat.) I guess the word of the day was “huge”, because we spent most of our time wandering among some of the largest animals I’ve ever been around. Some of the steers looked absolutely gargantuan as they sprawled in their shady pens or lumbered along behind their trainers. A sow in a pen with seven sweet piglets looked to be too big to do anything but take incessant naps and let her children suck to their hearts content. Noah was spellbound by the animals. He and I studiously watched one man lead his yoke of oxen (which are simply 2-year-old steers) through an obstacle course in the morning’s competition. As big as the beasts were, they maneuvered deftly among the various barriers and obstructions as the leader strongly spoke his commands. When the oxen had finished the course, Noah exclaimed, “Those boys did a very good job!”, and we both applauded for the team and the leader. It was a happy morning for all of us, especially little Noah, who may be headed toward a life as a gentleman farmer raising oxen who are wonderful boys indeed.

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