Friday, July 18, 2008

Forgotten farm stories

My friend Heather just shared a long lost memory from her childhood that involves sheep. Check it out, but be warned, it's not for the easily squeamish.

Neither is this post!

Reading Heather's story made me think of several stories from my own childhood, most of which help to explain why I become a vegetarian at 12. I am no longer vegetarian but that is mainly because I don't do the shopping or the cooking at home. Left to my own devices I wouldn't choose to eat meat. I can and do eat it now, thanks in no small part to Hilary being such a fabulous cook!

I grew up on a farm, but my parents were not farmers. They rented the land to a local farmer who put crops in every year. We had a barn and a huge garden and when I was older I had horses so I had a lot of "farm" experience as a kid.

First story:

One year for Easter my Grandparents bought me a cute little bunny. We lived on a farm, we had lots of room, it seemed like a great idea. What my grandparents and I didn't know was that my father saw this the perfect opportunity to raise a rabbit for Thanksgiving dinner. Yup, he killed my pet and served it up for supper.

Second story:

Our farm had 20 acres of bush with a small pond. It was a great place for a tomboy like me to play; climbing trees, making mud pies, catching frogs. My father has always liked to tease - which more often then not was just mean and not funny at all (probably because I was the subject of most of his teasing). He also likes to try and shock people by doing bizarre things. So one day while I was out catching frogs, my parents were also in the bush and had a camp fire going. I was very proud of my frog collection (I would have been 7-8) and took them over to show to my parents. My father decided that since we are French and French people eat frog legs that we should have frog legs for lunch. I thought he was teasing and got upset that he was teasing me like that. If it had stopped at the teasing I probably wouldn't be quite so scarred. Yup, he got out his pocket knife, hacked off the legs and roasted them on an open fire.

Third story:

We were coming home from somewhere and drove up to the garage in the truck. Sunning itself in front of the garage was a very large groundhog. Now groundhogs are very desctructive and cause a lot of damage on farms, so I understood the need to trap them and rid the farm of them. My father could not miss out on the opportunity to kill one, so he stopped the truck, grabbed a shovel from the back and bopped it over the head, killing it. I hear you saying "That's not such a bad story in light of the others". Well, it doesn't end there. Remember how I said that my father likes to do bizarre things to shock people? He figured that we had never had groundhog before so why not have that for dinner? And they did. I'm pretty sure that I refused to eat that night (and many other nights for that matter.)

Those are the main "my father ate gross things" stories from my childhood that have scarred me for life. I'm sure there are many others but they are probably best left buried!
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