Marriage and the Marks of Farm Life

http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/farm-life-marriage.aspx

Goat KidsThe chickens are pooping all over the front porch again, and my wife is a very special woman.

Almost every week, at some point or another, Carolyn says how happy she is to live at Rancho Cappuccino, surrounded by the wildlife and the livestock, steeping in nature’s own exotic brew of life, death, struggle and ecstasy.

Sounds great, you may say, but the chickens are pooping all over the porch. The geese are pooping all over the lawn. The manure in the sheep pen is two feet deep right now and  the pasture where the cattle are grazing, well, it’s a cow pasture. Talk about your exotic brews.

The cow is a virtuosic defecator. They poop more, larger, wetter, deeper, noisier and more often than anyone else on the farm.

But all God’s children leave their mark.

The chickens leave theirs on the front porch.

My wife’s friends are revolted. Who can blame them?

But my wife is a very special woman.

We’ve tried solutions to the chicken problem. We tried fake snakes. The chickens ignored them, then killed a real snake and left it there, next to the fake snakes on the porch, to express their disdain I guess. This really happened. No kidding.

Then we created a barrier of silk flowers in little buckets. The chickens steer clear. Guests have to step over them.

Of course the chickens still do their business all over the sidewalk and the drive way and the lawn.

I’m acutely conscious that there are very few roommates who would put up with this, and almost all of them are men. If you think I’m being a sexist,  you have an invitation to come help me clean the sheep pen. Then we can talk about my prejudices.

I figure if Carolyn decided to divorce me, I could either move to town or be single for life. I try to think of some other attractive woman who would be willing to join me at the Rancho. I can’t. Even some of the best sports I know can’t hide the little grimaces that say, “How can they live like this? How can she live like this?”

So here’s to Carolyn, with all my gratitude. I’ll make sure I take my boots off every time I come inside. Promise. Unless I forget.