Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



All of My Friends

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Birds and the Bees

No

Yes








This story is about sex.
But it’s not what you think.
I was raised on a ranch.
There are animals on a ranch.
That do ‘animal stuff’.
Eating. Sleeping. Growing.
Making other ‘little’ animals.
Which then eat. And sleep. And grow.
And make . . .
You get the picture.
It was the rhythm of life throughout my childhood.
The statement, ‘I grew up with it’?
Applies here.
My earliest memory of the whole ‘animals fulfilling the measure of their creation’ happened when I was four.
Roundup.
A great red and white sea of animals had been penned in the main corrals.
One jumped atop another.
“Daddy, what’s that cow doing?”
My dad turned and looked.
Then realized that he wasn’t quite ready to explain the whole reproductive process to his wide-eyed daughter. “Oh,” he said. “Ummm . . . resting his feet.”
“Oh.” I was satisfied.
For a while.
Oh, he did explain things.
Later.
When the whole ‘resting his feet’ explanation started to wear a bit thin.
Yes, being raised on a ranch is an eye-opening experience.
By the time I was in grade nine, I knew it all.
Or thought I did.
We were in biology class. My favourite science.
The teacher was talking about animal reproduction.
Yawn.
Specifically: chickens.
“Now the chicken ovulates once a day,” he was saying. “That’s where we get our yummy, delicious eggs.”
I was with him this far.
“But when . . . exposed  . . . to a rooster, the egg becomes fertilized and a chick results.”
Wait a minute.
Roosters have a purpose?
Other than the obvious one of chasing us kids around and being generally obnoxious?
Hold the phone!
Unfortunately, my astonishment was, much to my dismay, expressed verbally.
“What?!”
Whereupon (good word) every kid in the class turned and looked at me.
And snickered.
Sigh.
Yep. I was nearly 14.
And I had just learned that birds follow the same reproductive channels (so to speak) as other animals.
Okay. Now, I knew it all.
I just wish I could forget it . . .

16 comments:

  1. I had a sheltered childhood. It wasn't til we moved to the farm when I was 12 that things became uncomfortably apparent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Uncomfortably apparent. Perfect term! Pretty much describes most of the goings on on a ranch!

      Delete
  2. I was in my late twenties when I realized there was a bird side to birds and bees. I watched two birds on the ground outside my boss's window. "Look, they're fighting." He glanced over, turned red, and said he didn't think they were fighting. Really embarassing in 1969.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funnily enough, 1969 was the year I learned about the bird part of the 'birds and the bees'. Must have been something in the air that year!!!

      Delete
  3. My favorite take on the birds and the bees was during an episode of Petticoat Junction when Charlie, the train engineer was teaching Betty, Billie and Bobby Joe the facts of life: "The birds go tweety tweet, tweet (he whistled) and the bees buzz (he then made a sound that was closer to 'escaping' wind. All Kate could hear through the door was the chirping and the 'wind.'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I loved Uncle Charlie! Our Dad must have received his teaching abilities from the same school as Uncle Charlie!

      Delete
  4. Funnily enough, when we were learning about reproduction in grade school, I was just about the only kid in the whole class who didn't blush or laugh at anything...

    Wonder where that objectivity came from...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahhh! There are some perks to being raised on a ranch!

      Delete
  5. I am so with you on this...Joanne, too. The bird thing always eluded me. REcently, I saw an episode on elephants. Now THAT is incredible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know what it is about birds?! I guess they just never seemed . . . aerodynamically conducive to the whole mating game. Is that a contradiction in terms?

      Delete
  6. Sometimes we think we know so much as a child and then we find out we know so very little :) It's the same as an adult... we continue to learn;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even as an adult, I find I know so little! :)

      Delete
  7. Funny story Diane...Ironically, when I was visiting my sister recently we got into the whole why we don't find chicks in the eggs we eat....Now that was kind of funny sitting around a table in the restaurant with my mom, sister, and her fiance (yes, my sister will be married soon and she couldn't figure out the whole chicken/rooster thing). You can tell she was NOT raised on a ranch! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think your sister and I would get along well! Sweet and innocent! ;)

      Delete
  8. My daughter had to do a report on reproduction and she picked the chicken as her animal. She made a short clip of chickens entering and exiting their um fertilization process to the tune "In The Jungle The Lion Sleeps Tonight". It was hilariously genius.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great looking site and congrats on the new blog. I’m adding it to my reading list.I enjoy the way you have presented this great information.

    ReplyDelete

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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