This was the daunting task with which I was faced. Four bags of feed, cob with molasses, scratch grains, game bird developer, and layer feed, plus three bales of hay, two alfalfa and one Bermuda grass, all needed to be unloaded from the bed of the pickup. These items weigh exactly 50 pounds each. Basic math tells us the following: 7 * 50 = 350 pounds of feed that must be lugged off the back of the vehicle by medium ol’ me. This is typically David the Husband’s job. The nice people at Western Ranchman load these things into the truck and David drives them home and puts everything away like a good farmer should.
As you might know, however, David the Husband recently had scary spinal fusion surgery and is not supposed to lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk.
Now I had handled the feed bags before, sparingly and only when no one else was around and the chickens/ducks/turkeys were following my every step with that velociraptorish hunger in their eyes. But never more then one at a time and only from the feed shed to the wheelbarrow to what pen in which the feed was dispensed. This time I had no choice but to assume the entire task. The Halflings were already at school and Seaman Recruit Jessica was asleep like all good high school seniors. (We don’t wake her unless absolutely necessary; she’s scary.)
Take a deep breath; take another ten. No time like the present.
I grabbed the large feed cart from the big yard, smartly (in my not-so-humble opinion) leaving the ruminants penned and therefore unable to impede my efforts. I started with the feed bags and was pleasantly surprised how well I was able to load all four of them into the cart together and push then pull then push them to their intended homes.
Hey, that wasn’t so tough. I’m not as weak as I thought I was.
Then, Shania Twain got in my head, “Man, I feel like a woman.”
I dragged the empty cart back to the truck, admittedly beginning to strut a bit with my new found strength, and feeling a previously unfelt set of endorphins kick in as the sweat (not perspiration, dang it) started dripping down my back. This despite it being a cool 44° and my person clothed only in a single sweatshirt (and jammies and gloves.)
The hay bales were a whole different kind of feed. Awkward in size, they were too large to wrap my arms around and I lacked the grappling hooks the pros use to move them. Holding them together though were three strong bands of twine, barely visible as they were attached so tightly. I did it though. I worked my fingers in between the twine and hay and, one at a time, I lowered them into the cart, hauled them to the feed shed, and stacked them, I repeat, stacked them in place. I began feeling a little like Rocky on those steps in Philadelphia.
Helen Reddy replaced Shania Twain as my strut morphed into a downright swagger. I started saying expressions to myself that I had previously found tacky and obnoxious in their verbiage but it didn’t matter. I was slicker than snot. The raucous cheers of the farmyard creatures encouraged me further and, before I knew it, the truck was empty and all were fed.
Truly and without exaggeration, I have only felt as empowered as I did after completing this task a few times in my life.
I am strong; I am invincible; I am farmer.