Critical Thinking

I the barn only takes about one minute,

I wake up at the crack of dawn every morning to the sound of our rooster cock-a-doodle-dooing. I have always loved the watching sunrise and, I must say, watching it from your porch is the best way to experience it. I walk outside and smell the sweet grass and fresh air. The gravel crunches beneath my feet as I make my way from our little farmhouse to the barn to begin the day. As I approach the barn door, I hear all the commotion happening inside. The horse’s stomp, the chicken’s cackle, and the cattle moo; all sounds that make me smile. Some people might think being a farm kid isn’t fun or exciting, but I think that it is the best job in the world.     Every day starts the same, as soon as I’m up, I pull on my faded, hand-me-down jeans and an old sweatshirt and run down the stairs just in time to grab the last piece of toast on the counter. After a quick breakfast on the go, I pull on my leather boots, tie my hair back and head out the door. The walk to the barn only takes about one minute, the only silent and peaceful minute I’ll get for the rest of the day- I cherish that minute. The barn is old, really old. The red paint is chipping off the bricks and there’s rust around the windowsills, but you learn quickly it’s not just about looks around here. I unlock the latch on the white wooden door and swing it open, only to be greeted by four horse heads looking over their stalls, awaiting my arrival. They nicker softly at me as if trying to remind me that they are very hungry and I am their only source of food. I pat each of them a hello as I walk by and into the feed room, to prepare their meals. They each get the same thing: one scoop of grain, half a scoop of sweet feed, and two flakes of hay. While they are eating their beautifully prepared meal, I rinse and refill water buckets in each of their stalls and strip them of their light-weight blankets. Then I’m off to the chicken coop to collect eggs. Let me just get this out of the way- I am terrified of chickens. This is, without a doubt, the worst part of my day. I grab the wire basket that sits outside of the coop as I walk in and I collect the 12-13 eggs that our chickens produce as fast as I possibly can. Then I refill the feeders and waterers in a blink of an eye and I’m out of there. Whew, even talking about that gives me anxiety. I wash the eggs off to rid them of feathers and the nasty smell that always seems to accompany them (for obvious reasons) and then leave them in the fridge in the house. Then it’s back to the barn I go.By now, the horses have finished eating their breakfast and they are eager to get out and stretch their legs. I clip a lead line to each of their halters and take them out, one by one, to the pasture with the cattle. Here, they will spend the remainder of their day, eating fresh grass and frocking about as they please. Now that everyone is fed, watered, and having a great day it’s time for me to finish the day’s tasks. I return to the barn once more to muck out stalls and lay down fresh sawdust. I have always loved the smell of sawdust, so even though mucking stalls isn’t the most glamorous job, there’s a small reward that comes out of doing the chore in the end! After finishing all the animals chores, I go back to the house to have lunch. Usually, it’s just a bright green apple from the tree in the backyard and a granola bar or last night’s leftovers, because otherwise I would have to cook something for myself and that would truly be a nightmare. After this, I check the laundry room to see if any wet clothes need to be hung outside on the line before heading out to the garden to weed and harvest any produce that is ready to be eaten. Gardening is really one of the more relaxing things that I get to do with my day because I can take my sweet time and eat as I go. I start by weeding, this is a bit of work and I usually end up covered in dirt and sweat, which is expected with the sun beating down on your back the whole time. Then I harvest all the produce and head back to the house to wash and store it in the fridge to have that night at supper. Before I can call the day complete, I walk around the edge of the electric fence to make sure there are no problems with it so I know the cattle are safe inside for the night. Then I bring the horses back inside their stalls where I groom each one of them until they sparkle and are satisfied for the night. Then it’s back inside to have a homemade supper with my family and the day is done.Sometimes being a farm kid and always having responsibility is tough. I can think of MANY times, especially in the summer, when my friends were going to the lake, a party, or even just hanging out and I couldn’t go along because I had work I had to do. Those sacrifices, though I didn’t realize it at the time, always taught me a lesson and I know now that having to make those made me into the hardworking, reliable person I am today. To me, working on our farm was the best job anyone could have ever given me. 

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