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    Growing up on the farm led to a lot of experiences that city kids never get to experience. We raised cows, goats, chickens, occasionally pigs, and lots of peanuts. In the summer we had to walk around the perimeter of Daddyís 125 acre farm in order to make sure there were no goats stuck in fences. They liked to stick their heads through the fence to eat whatever was on the other side, but with horns shaped like fishhooks, they usually couldnít get out again. In the winter, we had to make the same trek in order to round them up and herd them into a shed for the night. In the spring and fall there was shearing, but our favorite time was in February and March when the babies were born. If you got down on hands and knees, the little ones would come up and jump up on your back. Sometimes you would get 2 or 3 playing on your back at the same time and then they would start knocking each other off. Occasionally a mother goat would refuse a baby and it would have to be fed by bottle. Those babies would never believe they were goats and tried to spend all their time at the house. Some learned to open the front screen with their horns. One was especially fond of music. When we would hear the tinkling of music, we knew it was in the living room and running down the length of the piano keys again.

    We had a lot of peach trees in our orchard, and every year we canned some, froze some, and dried some. Drying was the most interesting. Weíd start out by washing off the roofs of one or two of the barns. These had corrugated tin roofs. Then weíd get up early in the morning and pick bushels of peaches. We would then gather in the yard in the shade of a tree and start slicing them off the pits. When we had several large pans ready, the smaller members of the family would head for the barn. Barn roofs donít support adults very well, so it was always the kids who had to get up there. Those corrugated roofs provided perfect dips to place the slices in. The roof wasnít too steep and it wasnít too hot in the early morning. All you had to do was keep your balance, stay on your knees for hours, and hang on to the pan as you placed the peaches one by one, skin side down, while it got hotter and hotter. But then when Mother or Grandma Pair would make dried peach pies, it was all worth while.

    I was a big kid when my Dad had an irrigation well dug. We soon learned how to move the pipe. We would get up very early in the morning and be out in the field at sun-up, and then again 12 hours later. The irrigation pipes we used were 30 feet long and 3 or 4 inches across. I could pick up a 3 inch pipe by myself, push and twist to unhook it, then traipse across rows and rows of peanuts to place it in the furrow we were moving it to, and of course push and twist to re-hook it. But I was never strong enough to carry 4 inch pipe alone. My sister and I would work together on those. One time my brother started to pick up a 4 inch pipe that hadnít been used for a while, and he heard some scratching inside. So he turned it up on one end and pounded it on the ground a few times. We both picked up big sticks as we heard the rat, or whatever was inside, heading for the exit. But when that black and white fur ball staggered out, we took off running as fast as we could.

    One time one of those skunks moved into our chicken house, or more specifically, under it. The chicken house was probably 12 feet square; and we didnít have any little chickens right then. Daddy didnít want to shoot it that close to the house, because of the odor. Skunks carry rabies, so he couldnít just leave it there, either. So he consulted with friends and came up with a plan. The next time he opened the chicken house and saw the skunk, he started sidling up to it, one step at a time with long pauses in between. You see skunks arenít particularly afraid of anything that isnít rushing them. So it mostly just ignored Daddy. Then when he got close enough, he suddenly reached out and picked it up by itís tail. It must have taken a lot of guts for Daddy to do that. He had been told that a skunk canít spray you until it does a little dance with itís back feet. So if you pick it up off the ground, it is helpless. So after that it was not too difficult to remove it from the premises on a permanent basis.