by Jobe

Chapter 19

The summer seemed to past very fast. John and aunty were married in June and went on a trip for a few weeks to France. She was happy and Pastor did the service with Nohr and I in attendance.

Nohr and I stayed at the cottage while aunty was away. I still had my chores, but Nohr helped by taking care of the chickens. "There are a lot of eggs. How many chickens does your aunt have?"

"I really don't know. There were about 15 when I first came here and then there were peeps and more peeps. I have enlarged the pen twice and suggested that we have chicken a few times a week. Actually aunty sells the eggs and it is a good source of income for her."

"I think we should enlarge the pen again and this time really make it large. You won't be here until the holidays and next summer."

"We could do that. The ladies have been very productive and I think aunty should get another cow. Betsy and Rosy are giving their all but another cow would help with the income."

Over the week we double the chicken pen. "How long do you think before we'll have to increase the pen again?"

"I hope not for another year. Now we have to see about another cow."

"Ask the man who buys your milk. He may have an idea of where you can get another cow. You will also need more feed if you get another cow."

"There is that field on the other side of the barn. I don't think anything is planted there but grass. Maybe we could divide the pasture into two parts, then rotate the cows through them."

"That would help, but what about water?"

"We could extend the water trough into the new pasture, then the cows will have water regardless of the field they are in."

For the rest of the week we concentrated on fencing in the new pasture. Of course we didn't finish by the time aunty and John returned. They wanted to know what we were doing, I told aunty about buying another cow and the need to have another pasture unless we were going to buy feed. John though that was a good idea so aunty bought right in.

The next morning as I went to get the girls for milking, I saw a few men working in the new pasture. They were digging post holes. Just then John came, "Who are those men?"

"They are from the village. I hired them to fence in the new pasture. You boys did a good job but you need to get ready for school. Let the men do the job, it keeps them busy and gives them some money."

"Maybe we should think about have two more milk cows."

"Let's just think of one for now. Maybe next summer if all goes well."

"You ready for your milking lesson?"

"I guess lead on."

I showed John how to wash the teats, how to milk and then I began to sing to the cows. Of course they had to join in with their mooing and I thought John was going to fall off the stool when he began to laugh. But the buckets were getting full. I think aunty is going to need larger buckets. When the milking was done, I gave each cow a hug and got a face lick while doing it.

"Stephan, I never would have believed this if I didn't see it myself. You actually sing to them and they sing along with you."

"Yes, they feel special because they are special. All animals can feel love, some more than others, but they all can. Let's go and put this milk in the cooling tank."

Once the bucket were empties into the cooling tank, I showed John how we clean the buckets and to get them ready for the second milking at night. Of course as soon as we got in the house, John had to tell aunty all about the singing and the kissing the cows gave me. I just smiled as I washed my hands for breakfast.

"I forgot to get the eggs. I'll be right back."

I took a large basket and began to collect eggs, a few hens didn't want to move but they did when I lifted them up and took the eggs. We or I was not ready for more peeps. Filling the cooler with the eggs, I took some back to the house. "Aunty we need more cartons for the eggs. The chickens are doing a great job of filling up the cooler."

"I'll call Villium to come and get them as well as the milk. I probably should get a few more milk cans as well as egg crates. John, you will have your work cut out for you."

"Aunty, you know when John is away, you can hire some of the boys from the village to help you. Most of them know how to milk, at least goats. John will have to teach them how to sing." Saying that I began to laugh. The expression on John's face made me laugh.

Aunty did hire a few of the boys who were going to enter Secondary School in the fall. I suggested she hire Jeppe to take care of the chickens. I knew that his family were just making do and really depended on the fish to stretch their budget.

Over the next few month of summer, I taught the boys to sing to the cows and Jeppe to take care for the chickens. Of course aunty and John were around to oversee everything.

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