Monday, January 08, 2007

Entry #26

Power
by Peter Anderson


Walt looked up, grimly recognizing the thick power lines and insulated housings for what they were -- mockery. The electricity was out, for the third time this year; no power in the lines, no shock protection needed.

The power being out meant the milking machine was out, and the cows, already groaning with a night's worth of milk in their bellies, had to be milked by hand. Like the old days, with his father. But though there were plenty of things he missed about his boyhood -- the long idle stretch between spring planting and summer detasseling, fishing and swimming in the creek, tinkering with the old tractor -- milking by hand wasn't one of them.

None of this would be any problem, of course, if Lewis had remembered to keep the generator filled with fuel. But the kid forgot again, as if six years as a hired hand had taught him nothing.

Well, Walt muttered, Lewis would pay for his oversight. The kid would have to milk the cows, too, right alongside him, but without gaining the warm memories Walt enjoyed from working next to his own father, long ago.

He could already feel the cold stiffness in the joints of his hands from grasping the endless series of udders, and the soreness of his lower back from hunching over on a wooden stool, the inevitable consequences of milking his half of two hundred Guernseys. He hoped Lewis would feel the same thing.

This time, Walt vowed, the kid would learn.

10 comments:

Jim said...

There's promise of a most unkind end here.

Jaye Wells said...

Suddenly I'm craving a milk shake. I really liked this one.

Joni said...

This one speaks to me. My dad is an ag man. Ain't it all the truth. I feel for walt, and even more for Lewis.

Jeff said...

I'll bet Lewis won't forget the fuel again. lol
Good story!

S. W. Vaughn said...

OMG, I can't even imagine milking a hundred cows! This resonates with me, as we're on well water and our pressure tank just died when the basement flooded because the sump pump stopped working. There's a lot to be said for machinery... when it works! :-)

Dafath said...

goats i can milk, not 100 cows

nice original take here

Anonymous said...

Nicely done. We know what happens without being told and the hint takes only four words: "no shock protection needed".

Anonymous said...

That sharp tang of sweetness!
Enjoyed the read.

Anonymous said...

What an original response to the photo. A good read and well written.

jason evans said...

I really got a gritty farm feel from your piece. Very well matched to the picture.

High marks for entertainment and storytelling.