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The Manure Spreader: Summer camp

Tim Moffett for Progressive Dairyman Published on 29 June 2018

Normally, my sister’s kid goes to summer camp to learn how to make s’mores and post it on Facebook. Not this summer. She said she wanted him to learn new things and experience farm life. What she meant to say is, “Summer camp is expensive.

If I drop him off at your place, it’ll be free, and I’m going on a two-week cruise in the Caribbean.” So now, not only do I have to run a farm, but I have to keep this little bugger entertained.

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The first three days were the worst. He learned there was no Wi-Fi, no Starbucks, no video games – and the three television channels I do have only show re-runs of Lawrence Welk, Hee Haw and The Love Boat. His little head exploded.

He told me his favorite game was “Angry Birds 2.” I’ve never heard of it, either. So, being the best uncle, I introduced him to a farm version of angry birds. I let him gather eggs from under the chickens … he dang near lost a finger. Serves him right for that wise-crack about how old and boring I am.

One afternoon, it was hot. How hot was it? It was so hot my truck overheated before I started it. The next day, it was even hotter. How hotter was it? It was sooo hot my cows gave evaporated milk. My poor nephew wanted to go swimming, and I don’t have a pool, so I let him and the dog float in the water trough.

The dog taught him how to doggie paddle. And he learned on his own jumping out of a water trough and having a bull chase him is the quickest way to dry off.

He thought seeing a calf being born was the coolest thing ever, and I think that was the point where he started to like this whole farm thing. Then he asked me how the calf got there. No! I didn’t sign up for this! I’m not gonna be the guy who explains … that’s my sister’s job.

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I told him every time someone sends me money in the form of $100 bills, the “Cow Fairy” has a calf. I think I’ve got him convinced to get his mom to send me at least $200 a week.

My little nephew and I had a good few weeks together. I taught him how to run a shovel, pick up rocks, pull weeds, paint fences and all that other stuff we had to do as kids in the summertime on a farm. You know, the stuff our parents hated doing.

They called it “chores,” which temporarily made us feel like what we were doing was worthwhile and appreciated. It was the one thing that made us look forward to school starting up again in the fall. I can’t wait until he is tall enough to milk cows; then I’m going on a summer cruise.  end mark

Visit Tim at Tim the Dairy Farmer and sign up for details of his upcoming comedy tour.

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