Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

Daughter of Ishmael

by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

37

It was supposed to be:
A) Easy.
B) Efficient.
C) Convenient.
It was:
D) None of the above.
Maybe you’d like to hear about it . . .
When he was eight years old, my Dad’s daily chore was the gathering of the eggs.
The household used many.
And the extras were sold.
It was an important job for a small boy and Dad took it seriously.
Well, most of the time.
One Christmas, after church services, the family was invited over to Dad’s Aunt’s house for Christmas dinner.
The food was plentiful.
The cousins, ditto.
Dad was in small boy heaven, playing.
Five o’clock rolled around. Egg gathering time.
And no, chickens don’t get the Sabbath off . . .
“Mark,” his mother said. “Time to go home and gather the eggs.”
Dad wheedled a bit, knowing that his chances of getting out of the chore were slim to nil. Finally, the two of them agreed that, if he was quick, he could gather the eggs and return for a bit more play time.
Happily, Dad put on his coat and headed out into the frosty air.
Now, I should explain here that his mother was an accomplished seamstress.
And yes, this will be relevant . . .
She had taken one of Dad’s Dad’s old suits and made it smaller for her youngest son. It fit perfectly.
All that remained the original size of the original suit were the pockets.
But Dad never complained. More room to hide/store things.
It was this suit Dad was wearing as he charged out the door.
I should also explain that the chicken coop was nestled snugly half-way between his Aunt’s house and his home.
What could be more efficient that to gather the eggs on his way to his house.
Only one problem needed to be addressed. He had nothing to carry the eggs in.
Then, with small-boy ingenuity, the solution popped into his head.
He had oversized pockets! And pants pockets for any extras.
Genius!
Dad proceeded to stuff the fresh, warm eggs into every available space. By the time he had finished, he had 37 of the little moneymakers somewhere about his person.
Carefully, he waddled home, excited at the prospect of delivering his cargo and returning to his play.
He opened the kitchen door.
The warm air rolled out to envelop him as he stepped forward onto the linoleum.
Disaster rolled out with it.
Frosty shoes refused to grip the shining clean and very warm floor.
Both feet shot out from under him.
There was nowhere to go but down.
Picture it if you will.
37 eggs.
Stuffed into various compartments.
None of which were intended for egg transport.
One egg survived.
One.
Yeah, his mother was fairly disgusted as well.
Let’s just say he never made it back to play with cousins that night.

16 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, I was inwardly shrieking as he fell - in slow motion (really!) - and crunched all those eggs ... oh dear oh dear oh dear ... 36 potential chickens gone, I'd be pretty upset if I was the mom, too!

    But what a great story :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She was much more restrained than I would be. All she said was, "I hope you learned your lesson!"
      He did!

      Delete
  2. Oh such a cute story! I loved it~
    Blessings for the smile today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you LeAnn! So glad you enjoyed it!

      Delete
  3. Bet he never wore those clothes again either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was my first thought. But he said he did. Gramma was a demon cleaner, obviously . . .

      Delete
  4. Oh dear. I bet getting all the egg out of that coat wasn't easy either.
    I've never gathered eggs in my life. Seems like a fun thing to do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is fun. Unless there are chickens around. (We have a history . . .)

      Delete
  5. An expensive lesson learned....don't put all your eggs in one pocket.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bwahahaha! Or several pockets of one coat.

      Delete
  6. Oh, I could see this coming, I could.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It all seems sorta . . . inevitable, doesn't it!

      Delete
  7. Oh. How else was he to carry 37 eggs? Especially if it meant more time wasted by going back to get a forgotten basket! And who knew linoleum could be so slippery! I can empathize - but I don't have to do that load of laundry!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought it was particularly clever of him. Right up to the doorway . . .

      Delete
  8. If that isn't a case of "Murphy's Law"! I'm sure he probably did this every night without incident until he put them in his pockets! I can picture it so well. I hope you have been doing good. I feel like I haven't talked to you in forever!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Murphy was definitely in there somewhere!
      We're doing well, Rena, thank you! Up to my eyebrows in a play, so not able to spend much time here!

      Delete

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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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