The ‘B’s have it – Empty Nest by Curt Swarm


For some strange reason, Blossom only escapes from her pen when Ginnie and I are gone, like she knows we’re away and it’s time to romp. The first time she escaped was last summer when Ginnie and I were visiting friends. We came home to find Blossom standing politely in the middle of our aronia bushes, munching away on the tender foliage, pleased as punch. She had lifted one of the gates off its hinges. Seeing us, Blossom took off around the barnyard, kicking up her heels, having a whee of a time with her newfound freedom. I couldn’t get close to her, being the “authority figure,” I reckon. Now, Ginnie is no farm girl, and has never herded livestock. But I was able to convince Ginnie to let Blossom suck on her fingers (we were still feeding Blossom from a nipple pail) and lead Blossom gently back into her pen. I fixed the hinges on the gates right quick like.
The second escape was later that summer when Ginnie and I were on vacation in Colorado. Our neighbor boys, Brody and Boden, were doing the chores while we were gone. We thought everything was going along swimmingly. When we got home, we noticed the sweetcorn and some of the tomato vines were smashed down. When we asked Bro and Bo about it, they said, “Oh, yes. Blossom got out and spent the night in the garden. We put her back in.” Only farm boys know how to handle situations when they arise without making a fuss.
The third time, was in August on Ginnie’s birthday. I had taken Ginnie out for a dinner and movie. It stormed something fierce, knocked the power out, and blew half the countryside away. We came home in the pitch black to find Blossom standing outside her pen, confused from the storm and not knowing which way to go. While lightening flashed, I was able to get her back in and settled down for the night.
The fourth escape was one we didn’t even know about. Once again, we were gone. A neighbor drove by and noticed Blossom out. The neighbor stopped and put her back in. That was right neighborly.
The last time she was out (that we know of), was when Ginnie and I were away for a luncheon. We came home and were checking the mail. There stood Blossom, looking at us, her tail swishing from side-to-side. Once again, I had to recruit city-girl Ginnie, in her high heels, to help herd Blossom back in. Somehow, Blossom had sprung a latch when we were gone. She’s quite smart, and knows when the timing is right for great escapes.
Buddy and Barney have a “working relationship” We’ve noticed that our farm animals all have names that start with the letter “B,” including our chore boys, Bro and Bo. We have Blossom, Buddy, and the newest arrival, Barney, the barn cat. Barney was supposed to be our “outdoor cat,” in charge of de-miceing the barn. Wouldn’t you know it, Ginnie (and I) have a soft spot, and we now let Barney in “The Big House” to get warm and keep Buddy company. They have a “working relationship.”
Then there are the dozen hens. We have Bernice, Beulah, Betty, Beatrice, Betsy, Bobby Sue, Belle, Bonnie, Barbara, Bernie, Bunny and, last but not least, Bianca, the sassy one. They all have different personalities, and we do get them mixed up. They don’t seem to mind, and keep pumping out those farm, fresh, brown eggs.
Between Buddy and Barney, Blossom and the birds, Bro and Bo have their hands full when we go bye bye!
Have a good story? Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at 319-217-0526, email him at or friend him on Facebook. Curt’s stories are also read at 106.3 FM in Farmington.

About Chuck Vandenberg 5617 Articles
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