Monday, March 05, 2012

Mucking Out the Barn

It always sounds so easy.
"Hey, kids, wanna make some money? Go muck out the goat barn. I'm going to go do some gardening."
At least they've done this often enough that they gear up first. Paint-spattered work clothes. Shovels. Our duct-taped together wheelbarrow with washers and screws holding the barrel onto the handle because the original bolts broke through a long time ago. They forget the rake and/or decide that they don't need it.
I go to the garden to put some new bareroot roses into pots. (I find they do better that way than if I put them straight into the ground.) About fifteen minutes later I hear loud arguing, and then the wheelbarrow bumps along past me to the designated new mound of poo where I'll grow this year's pumpkins.
"Need help?" I ask.
I take it that they need my help.
I finish potting up the roses, grab a rake which the child insists we don't need, and head out. I'd planned, of course, to just organize things into piles and make sure that they start someplace more sensible than the middle.
Next thing I know I've got them alternating (whoever takes the wheelbarrow out doesn't help fill it) and I'm working continuously, loosening the muck, helping shovel it in, more loosening and raking while the wheelbarrow person takes the poo to our pile and the soon-to-be-wheelbarrow person rests.
After the first clean corner gets straw laid down the goats come to help distribute it by grabbing a mouthful and dancing out the door, as if any of us have the energy to chase them.
We quote lines from Support Your Local Sheriff and get the blamed job done. It's getting dark. I have just enough time to plant a couple of hellebores that have been waiting for months in their little pots, and I jam in some pussywillows near the road. Darkness falls with a splat.
My 'gardening' day is done.

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