I like living on a farm. I like fields and I like fences with birds sitting on them. I like blowing the seeds from a milkweed pod and watching them fly through the air, and I like to feel the little white fish that is left in my hands after the seeds are blown away. It isn’t really a fish, but it looks and feels like one.
My older brother and his friend have a clubhouse in the wheat field. They found a patch of tall weeds and mashed down the weeds in the middle of the patch. They didn’t mash down the ones on the outside edges of the patch because they were the walls of the hideout. When I asked to play in it they said no girls or little kids allowed. So I found another patch of weeds to make a hideout. My younger brothers and sisters helped. It was fun for a while, but I really have a better place that is my own secret place.
My favorite place is up in a large apple tree in the orchard. We have a cherry tree that is good for climbing, but it is in the middle of the font yard. It’s everybody’s tree. I like climbing up my apple tree better. Then I scoot out on one of the limbs. From my tree I can peek out between the branches and see across the field. I like to sit there and just think about anything I want.
I can hear if Mama calls, and I can climb down to see what she wants. But nobody bothers me in my secret place. I like to listen to the birds and other sounds around. Once I found a worm that looked like a stick. At first I thought it was a brown stick growing on a branch. But something didn’t look quite right. So I touched it, and sure enough it was soft. I pulled it loose and watched to see what it would do.
It crawled like a little green inchworm. First the front part stretched out and then crawled as far as it could. Then the front part clinged to the tree while the back part lifted and crawled up to meet the front. The long skinny middle part stuck up like a loop in the air until the front part stretched away again. I liked to watch it crawl around.
Sometimes I just study the leaves. I take one and pick out all the green part leaving only the thick veins. I can always find something to look at or think about when I’m in my favorite tree.
My family likes to hunt mushrooms after it rains in the spring. We can do that in Indiana if we know which kinds of musrooms are safe to eat and which are not. Most are not, so don’t try hunting mushrooms to eat if you have to guess. You will die if you eat the wrong ones.
We hunted for mushrooms in the woods in back of the field behind the barn. I really like the woods in the spring. The mayapples grow like bunches little umbrellas. If you are lucky you might see a Jack-in-the-pulpit growing out of the ground. The air smells so fresh and clean, and the ground was still damp from the rain.
You have to look really close to find the good kind of mushrooms. They are brown and seem to hide in the brown leaves and dirt that is around them. While I was studying the ground looking for mushrooms I came upon a large tree stump that was rotten inside. Part of the stump was hollow, but not all of it. I squatted down to get a closer look.
The inside of the stump looked like it had a floor made of green moss. Parts of the sides were green with moss too. Some tiny ferns and mushrooms were growing inside. It seemed to be a perfect house for little fairies to live in. I always wanted to see a fairy, but there weren’t any there.
I loved my fairy house and looked at it for a long time when I discovered the rest of my family had moved farther into the woods. I couldn’t see them anywhere. I started to look for them and came to a place where the water was standing everywhere. I tried to go around it without getting my shoes wet, but I was getting scared too. I shouted and listened for an answer but didn’t hear one. Every way I looked there was water. Finally I tiptoed through the water to the other side. I began running and calling until I finally found my family again. I was so glad to see them.
I wish I could go back and find my fairy house again, but how could I ever find it in the big woods? I guess I’ll just have to find another one.
Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green
Here is a picture of me holding Inky. My sister, Joan is holding her kitten. We called her kitten Crybaby because it cried a lot. My Daddy took this picture.
I love kittens! When we moved to the farm where grandma and grandpa used to live and where Daddy grew up, there were always lots of cats and kittens. One time I counted as many as fourteen!
What I really liked was to find baby kittens. If a mama kitty went from fat to skinny we knew she had kittens somewhere. Our mama kitties usually had them in the haymow of the barn. Sometimes we would find the babies before their eyes were opened. Mama told us not to pick them up until they opened their eyes.
I thought of a good trick for finding the babies. I would walk around the barn and up in the haymow crying “mew mew” real soft like a kitten. Then I would stop and listen. If they were sleeping and the mama kitty was away they might wake up and think it was her. Then they would start crying. All we had to do then was look where the sound came from.
My favorite kitten was Inky. I remember when she was very tiny. She was all black except for a little patch of white under her chin. When she first opened her eyes they were bright blue. They looked so big in her tiny body. Inky would look at me with those big blue eyes and back away. I could tell she was afraid, so I gently picked her up and held her real easy so she would know I didn’t want to hurt her.
Before long Inky would come to me every time I went to the haymow where the kittens were. By the time they were big enough to go wherever they wanted, Inky followed me everywhere. Sometimes that was a problem.
I got a Brownie camera for my birthday when I turned eight, and I tried to take a picture of Inky. I was supposed to stand eight feet away from something to take its picture. I put Inky in a good place for a picture and backed away, but every time I got about five steps away Inky would walk up to me. I finally gave up and took a picture of another cat that looked almost like Inky.
Inky was one of the best friends I had when we lived on the farm. She still has a special place in my heart.
Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green