Farm Wars

Secrets to Survival

By Karen Sue Kight

As a farm kid, I faced some pretty scary bullies, but I knew the secrets to keeping them at bay. On our farm at the edge of the Clearwater National Forest just outside Grangeville, I faced my bullies at chore time.

Every day I was in danger of getting hurt, but I never chickened out. I don’t remember it ever crossing my mind to complain or find a way out of my chores.

Speaking of chickening out, when it was my job to collect the eggs, I had to face the rooster. No matter how quietly I cracked the door open to get a bearing on his location in the coop, his arrogant red-crested head was always cocked in such a way that one beady black eye dared me to enter. He’d strut a few steps, flash his spurs, and stir up a cloud of dust. I’d slip the handle of the egg bucket up to my elbow, grasp a baseball bat with one hand, and throw open the door with the other. Hens flew in every direction, but not that rooster. He stood his ground. I kept the bat bobbing between us while I scooted around the coop, grabbing eggs. Although he always closed in on me as I made for the door, he never actually got me.

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Karen Sue Kight

About Karen Sue Kight

Karen Sue Kight is the daughter of Ken and Kathy Carpenter, who are celebrating fifty years on their mountain homestead in Idaho County. Kathy rescued Karen from morning chores in the sixth grade so she could stop smelling like the billy goat when at school.