73. Frank – A Bedtime Story

                                                 Once upon a time, there was a boy named Frank. He didn’t live in the city. He lived in the country. Frank lived on a farm. He didn’t just have a house. He had a house and a barn and a chicken coop and granaries and a shed to play in.

                                                 Frank had to get lots of sleep. He had things to do in the morning. Every morning, his mom came into his room and said, “Wake up, Frank, wake up. It’s time to do the chores.“

                                                 Frank stepped out of bed, pulled on his shorts, pulled on his pants, pulled on his socks; slid his arms into his shirt; and was fiddling with his buttons as he walked out to the porch. He pushed his shirt into his pants and slid his feet into his rubber boots. He took his coat off the hook and his hat off the chair.

                                                 “I’ll have breakfast ready when you get back,” said his Mom as Frank opened the screen door. It was dark outside.

                                                 “Sssiiit,” he whistled for his dog, Scotty. “Come on Scotty, let’s go find Rusty.”

                                                 Together they walked to the side of the yard where the fence met the barn.

                                                 “Wwwheet. Wwwheet,” he whistled for Rusty and his horse neighed softly from the shadows where the sky was lightening up the early morning skies. Frank crawled up the fence slats and Scotty crawled under. Frank put his arms around Rusty’s neck and slid on to his back.

                                                 “ Come on, Rusty. Come on Scotty. Let’s go get the cows.”

                                                 Off they went, past the barn, past the chicken coop and past the bale pile. Rusty headed for the cow path and then through the bush. As they moved along, Frank was saying, “Come boss, come boss.” It was his way of calling the cows.

                                                 As the sky continued to lighten, they moved out into the pasture, Frank could hear the cowbells before he could see the cows and then there they were. Scotty had them all in a row heading toward the barn.

                                                 Frank and Rusty had to move a little faster. First a trot and then a gallop. They had to beat the cows; open the gates and open the barn door.  Frank grabbed a fork; put hay in the manger and spread straw on the floor.

                                                 Frank patted Bessie’s back as he tied her in the stall. He grabbed the pail from the wall and the three-legged stool from the corner. He shewed away the cats.

                                                 “Split, splat, split, splat”, sounded the milk as it hit the sides of the pail. Frank’s fingers squeezed the cow’s tits up and down, up and down and the pail filled with milk. The cats meowed.

                                               He poured a bit of the frothy milk into the tin plate on the barn floor. He gave a bit of milk to the little weanling; who had been the runt of the litter.

                                                 The pigs were squealing so he set the milk pail high as he laid out the chop for them. He brought in Bessie’s calf who nuzzled right up to the udder and latched on to the tits. He picked up the pail of milk and headed for the house. He dropped the pail of milk off in the porch.

                                                 The rooster was crowing and Frank knew his Mom would have the separating done by the time he finished the chores.

                                                 Back behind the barn, he fed the rest of the cows, scraped up some oats for Rusty and gave him a good-bye hug. Scotty followed Frank to the chicken coop. He put out chop, watered the chickens and took the egg basket down off the wall. He picked up the eggs he gathered and headed for the house.  He had lots to do before the school bus appeared.

                                                 And just like Frank, you have to get lots of sleep as you have lots to do in the morning.

                                                 February 2013

—-Ellen Sagh

summer:  306 382-5204
winter      480 373-1734
writings:   ellensagh.com

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