Song or Story
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Sunny Stutzman's story relates some basic differences between life on the farm in the old days and now, but also generally differences between life on the farm and anywhere else in society.
My father told me I have to tell one story of the way things were, I guess, on the farm. This is one I can tell in public. But it just gives you an idea of, maybe, the way farm life is different from everyday life, I guess. So, years ago there were two kids, about thirteen years old, on the farm. Their job was to take the rocks out of the field so that they could plant. So, of course all the rocks had to be removed with oxen at the time, this quite a while ago, and oxen can only move a rock that is so big. They gave these two kids who were only thirteen years old a box of dynamite and told them to go out and clear the field of rocks. And this was pretty much common practice in the neighborhood, apparently, back then. So, down the road, I’m imagining some kid a little bicycle with a box of TNT on the back, I don’t know. They were probably riding both on one bicycle, who knows? Or maybe they brought the oxen down first. But, anyway, so they’re in the field and they’re blowing up rocks, having a great time I’m sure. I don’t even know if they paid them really! One of these stray rocks goes through a window of a Model T Ford that was for sale on someone’s lawn. The owner comes out all mad, “You kids bought that now. You’re going to have to pay for that.” These two kids looked at each other and the box of dynamite, and they said, “Well, we own it, what are we going to do with it?” They took the dynamite over, and they loaded the car up with dynamite, and they blew the car up right there on the guy’s lawn. And apparently, I guess the guy didn’t come back out; I don’t know if they ever paid for it or not, but that’s just, that’s kinda how things go on the farm.
Life on the Farm in the Old Days, Sunny Stutzman, Sangerville, Maine, farm, rocks, field, dynamite, Sid Stutzman, story
Folklore | Oral History
Stutzman, Sunny. 2011. “Life on the Farm in the Old Days.” Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History, Raymond H. Fogler Special Collections Department, University of Maine.