Questions only farm kids would ask
By Jennifer M. Latzke
If you’re around young children for any length of time, you’re bound to get an odd question or two.
It can’t be helped. They’re figuring out the world around them. And we adults often struggle to answer their serious and innocent questions without stammering or outright giggling and therefore warping their worldviews.
I usually fail at that, by the way.
I’ll never forget when a dear friend’s daughter, who was maybe 4 years old at the time, figured every household, with or without children, had a mommy and daddy.
“Aunt Jenni, where’s your daddy? The daddy that lives here?”
“Well, sweetie, Aunt Jenni isn’t married, so there isn’t a daddy that lives here.” By the look on her face, I had just blown her little mind. I mean, who fixes broken toys and checks the closet for monsters at night?
My favorite questions, though, come from farm kids. Unlike their city cousins, they pretty much pick up on the basics of anatomy, physiology, biology and reproduction during morning chores on the farm.
No stork story for them. They already know where babies come from. But just how does the bull get into those straws in the tank in the barn? What’s scrotal circumference and why does it have to be in the sale catalogs? What’s “trich” and why does the veterinarian have to test for it in our bulls? Why do some bull calves have to become steers?
Heaven help the wizened cowboys who have to answer those questions, in front of city cousins or the veterinarian who’s trying his hardest not to giggle chute-side at the look on said cowboys’ faces.
I mean, just imagine having to explain the difference between heifers and steers to a group of boys on the farm for a birthday sleepover. You know you’re going to get phone calls from parents after that one.
Most of the awkward farm kid questions, though, come around the holidays. Seems like no matter the season, farm kids figure out an agricultural aspect.
“Dad, does Santa have to get health papers for his reindeer before he flies to our house on Christmas Eve like we have to get for the horses before we go to a rodeo? Do reindeer have EPDs for flight speed, take-offs and landings and pulling stamina? Does Santa have to get registration papers for Rudolph before he breeds him? Well, we could lay out hay and carrots for Santa’s reindeer, but would that mess up their feeding efficiency if they go off ration?”
“Do you think the Easter Bunny has a poultry barn like Daddy’s with hens that lay colored eggs? What does he feed them? I bet he feeds them jellybeans so that the colors are brighter on the eggs, right?”
“Did Cupid shoot his arrow at Pippi the Cow Dog and her boyfriend on Valentine’s Day and that’s why we have puppies now?”
Oh farm kids, with those imaginations you’ll all go far.
But, if you’ll excuse us adults, we have to go into the other room for something we all simultaneously forgot for a moment. Pay no attention to the guffaws behind the closed doors.
Jennifer M. Latzke can be reached at 620-227-1807 or firstname.lastname@example.org.