Before the school year starts it is my master Mrs. B’s tradition to have a fun family gathering around the grill one last time for the summer.
The cool evening breeze was settling in. Bernie and Laino (farm daughters) where down by the fields near the Beaver Dam Creek putting their ponies away for the night. Mr. B was working the grill and good smells began to fill the air. Mrs. B, family and friends filled the tables with yummy treats to compliment the dinner. Before I knew it, we all gathered round Grandfather under the story tree. I love family times like this because you never know what kind of a whopper of a story Grandfather will come up with!
Grandfather cleared his throat; ahhh um. Grandfather always did this as it bought him time to think and he stroked his chin. He began;
“Drifters in love many long years ago came upon a ledge of rocks hidden under some ancient maple trees. Beaver Dam Creek trickled quietly below, lulling them in, to make this their new home. That they did. Midnights had come and gone. One cool evening after a storm had cleared; two young Cairn terrier pups were born. Both mother and father were proud of the son and daughter that had come to them under the moon and stars.”
Nellie, the farm Border Collie and I looked at each other. Grandfather lovingly winked at me as if to say – hush now and listen. My ears were in full alert!
“Many moons came and went and before they could blink the proud parents knew they could not keep their son and daughter from moving on in the world. One night in the moons golden beams the brother and sister were gone. The sister drifted off towards Leesburg, Virginia, where she would follow her dreams. The brother drifted towards Middleburg, Virginia, where he would work as a great Fox hunter.
Now this is a story about the sister named Philomena. After she ran away from home she learned about life – with a bright tooth Cairn terrier grin she learned she could have anything from anyone as she understood human’s desires and their need for love. Always restless though, one human home after another, soon wore out its excitement and she would travel on. She traveled a one way path towards Sterling, Virginia as she knew her life would be more exciting than where she had been. Upon her arrival she saw the city lights at the foot of the hills. Her heart was beating and would not be still. The city lights beckoned her in. She shook her wiry Cairn terrier coat, sleeking her form with her tongue and practiced her best white toothy grin. She knew what she wanted, she knew what she was after, for Philomena loved to play and dance and grin. Sterling had what she wanted. Into the city she went.”
“It was the same way back in all the other towns she had left. Human’s would feed and care for her. Groom her hair for her. Be silly fools for her.”
“One shop keeper found her and knew Philomena would be the answer to draw more customers in. The shop keeper had a handsome dog like no other Philomena had seen in her travels. He was a real cowboy’s dog, much like Nellie there.”
Nelly and I glanced at each other hanging on Grandfathers every word.
“The cowboy dog was sleek, long and firm in body. He knew he was different and not like the rest. Philomena grinned and danced as her heart leaped for joy to gain his affection. The strong handsome Cowboy did not play like the rest for he was insanely jealous. He hurt inside for his shop keeper had brought into his territory a young little flirt. He shot Philomena a look, as if looks could kill, and she knew this young cowboy had his fill of her. He growled and he fussed at her scaring her more and he sent her away from the shop with her tailed tucked under and her heart forlorn. For you see, Cowboy was the star of his shop and no one but no one was going to intrude upon his thunder. Defiantly, Cowboy ran Philomena out.”
Grandfather continued … “Philomena was tired and sad. She decided to return back home. She had learned that the grasses look greener over the fence, but when all was said and done, life with her family was really the best. Homeward, Philomena trotted. Her heart was filled with joy as she remembered the love, peace and tranquility of her home by creek in the woods. As she thought about the cool running waters, the shade of the trees, the chasing of butterflies and the honey of the bees, she realized that her home really was the sweetness of life and that was something she could have only learned to appreciate from her long wandering travels.”
“She now knew that family is something you never forget and that the countryside has pleasures that are better than best.”
So now my dear farm family … think about Grandfather’s story. Summer has come to a close and it is time to get your school books under your nose. Study hard for life is short. Good schooling brings competence, structure and responsibility. Make your Moms and Dads proud. Make “home”, proud.
(And, come out to the farm and visit – fall is just around the corner! Love,Sushi!
My Master Elaine Boland runs Fields of Athenry Farm … 38082 Snickerville Turnpike, Purcellville, VA 20132. We sell farm fresh meats, cheeses and more! And, we sometimes serve lunch on the farm patio. See us at www.fieldsofathenryfarm.com.