The Farm Show
by Rebekah Josepha Coover - age 12 - 01/11/02
First of all, Mom saw the announcement for The Pennsylvania Farm Show in the newspaper. She got us all excited to go, and then she found out that she had her dates wrong, and it was still another week before it even started. So.... we didn't go... until the next week. :-)
Well, Dad told us that the building they had the show in was gigantic, the size of our little hometown. We arrived at the spot where you get on the bus to go the rest of the way. Lydia saw a little building. "That doesn't look as big as Cleversburg," she said. I didn't think so either. And of course, it wasn't. We got on the bus and rode over to the "real" spot. It was awfully hot on the bus, and I thought about shedding my coat. That's me! But I didn't.
The first thing we saw when we got to The Farm Show was a man out front, making statues from ice. He was making a pineapple, and had already made an eagle, a horse's head, and two owls. That was really neat!
Then we went inside. Dad said, "O-K, we're just going to kind of go through all of this quickly."
We looked at produce first. That was kind of boring. Dad asked Mom if she had a shopping cart. :-) Thankfully, we didn't stay in the produce section long. But they did have a VCR screen in there, showing stuff about greenhouses. That was kind of interesting. And so were the butter statues they had in there. Land 'o Lakes, or whatever it's called, donated several hundred pounds of butter for making the statues. And the paintings (which were of vegetables, roosters, funny looking cows, etc.) were interesting. After that, there was another room: one with foods, wine, etc. Dad said all this food was making him hungry. I was kind of turned off. I came to look at animals, not a food display.
We saw some girls in there wearing dresses. That was kind of interesting too :-), because we don't see many women who dress conservatively, without wearing a "head covering". Lydia and I had shed our coats by this time (grin).
Next we went into the machinery room. Tractors, etc. don't have very much life to them though, and we went to see the animals. As we neared the animal area, Lydia said, "It's starting to stink."
By the way, this is a side thought, but Mom and Matthew kept talking to each other, and getting behind Dad and us girls. Dad told us girls not to get lost, to hold hands if we had to. If you've ever been to that type of a Farm Show, you know it would be a disaster to lose each other.
In the animal area, there were sheep. One sheep was being sheared. The other sheep had been sheared too, and they were wearing "coats". The one was wearing a "coat" that had straps to hold it on him. The strap had rubbed his leg raw. When I saw his sore leg, with the strap going across it, I thought somebody had given him a band aid. :-)
Then we saw the pigs. I blurted out, "No wonder it stinks so bad in here!" One boy was sitting in the pen with his pig, stroking it like it was everything in the world. And Mom said one child was sleeping with his pig! Yuck!
There were horses too. Horses are big and beautiful. We pet their noses. When I pet one, he whinnied in a really funny sounding way. (Maybe I'm just not used to horse noises, because I thought it was really something out of the ordinary.) Dad said, "It must have been your touch." Some of the horses had their manes cut off. One guy went in to a horse pen, took the horse out, and led him away. Those feet were gigantic!
After that, there were the cows. Rows and rows of them. Dad said, "These look cleaner than the ones at auction." (We go to the animal auction.) And some of them had names like... oh, I can't remember what they were. Was one of them "Princess"? I'm not sure, but that's alright. We give names to our goats: April, Charity, Jenny Lou, and Billy John. And we used the baby name book for some of them, and based others on Biblical virtues! So I'm not going to criticize somebody for naming their cow.
Also in the cow area, they showed the milking process. I thought it was going to be something old fashioned and interesting, like milking them by hand. But no, it was just the "machine method" :-). We get milk at a farm, so I've already seen that lots of times. We didn't stay there very long. :-)
As we were leaving the "cow area", we saw a tiny, tiny dog in somebody's arms. Matthew said that it was a baby cow. :-)
What was there are after the cows? I think we went to get something to eat. We got potato donuts and milk shakes. The milk shakes weren't very appetizing. Oh well. And somewhere in there, we saw rabbits (Some of them had humungous ears!), and we saw something about eggs. It was kind of... pointless. It was kind of like... paranoia over whether your egg was good to eat or not. But the little old man telling about eggs was friendly and explanatory none the less. It's just, I don't really care if my egg has a microscopic crack in it. Dad says eggs have pores in them anyway, to let air in. Did Yahweh ever intend that we look at our food that close?
We walked around a lot. Some of it was boring, and my back was hurting me. (I had shoveled snow the other day.) I walked with shoulders real straight. It wasn't like excruciating pain: it just wasn't real comfortable.
We passed the Lottery spot. I saw a young guy standing there, putting something in his wallet. He laughed, as though everything was fine and right. I thought that was sad. It wasn't all fine and right. How can one gamble, and be right with Yahweh at the same time? And if you aren't right with Yahweh, nothing is all right.
We saw in the large arena that they were judging cows. Us girls wondered how they judge cows. Mom said about judging who was the wisest cow. :-) We didn't sit and watch that.
We saw some puppies and a couple more sheep, and we saw a VCR screen showing something that was going in the large arena. It was where horses were pulling old fashioned looking wagons. The horses were really well behaved. There was going to be a horse pulling contest in the large arena, and we decided to go there.
First though, we went to the rest room. While us girls waited for Mom to come out, we stood beside the sinks. It sure was crowded, and we had to move constantly, because we were in the way. I said to one old lady, "It's a busy place, isn't it? She agreed: "Yeah, but it's a good show."
Then we went to the small arena. They were judging sheep there. It was really silly looking. Everyone was holding his/her sheep's head up in the air and positioning its legs just right. The judge walked back and forth, looking at the sheep and telling the owners to stand different places with their sheep, etc. Dad said, "Who are they judging: the sheep or the owners?"
We went to the large arena. They were finishing up judging cows. One cow spread his legs apart and went to the bathroom. "O-K, cow, that's good enough for you, but I'd be ashamed." One girl was real impatient with her cow. All the "cow people" wore white clothes. Of all the things to wear when you're messing with a cow!
When that was finished, they made white lines with paint on the floor of the arena. They brought horses and stuff in, and took them to their proper places. Over a microphone, a woman announced who was in the contest, and what they were doing. She was too loud. I couldn't really understand what they were going to do. They parked a truck in between two of the white lines. Then, for a long time, they had the horses pull the truck, they made the truck heavier, they had the horses pull the truck, they made the truck heavier, they made the horses pull the truck, they made the truck heavier.... One little boy really liked that show. He kept hollering stuff like, "Guys! Are you going to do it again? Ohhhh. Are you going to do it again?" He was a noisy little fellow. Well, the best part of that horse stuff for me, was the cotton candy that Dad got for us. A man went around and yelled, "Cotton candy! Get your candy!" And Daddy did. That made me thirsty though. We went and got a drink. Two dollars for a thing of water! And it tasted polluted at that! Then we went back into the large arena. On the way, we looked at some registered pygmy goats and a little white pony named Spooker, that was 35 years old. (I thought he looked more like a baby.) We sat on the other side of the arena after that. The horses were on that side, and we could see them better. Dad said, "I like it better over here. You can see the horses better."
Finally we left the horse pulling contest. We found our way out of the building. (It sure was confusing, because they had closed off one entrance.) We walked a short ways in the parking lot, and then when Daddy asked him, a man told us to go back the way we came, and how to get to the bus pick up. We saw the pineapple ice statue. It was finished. Daddy let us put our fare into the little... "money swallower" on the bus. We rode back to the parking lot where the van was. Then we went to Hardee's. We had a good day together. Best of all, it was our whole family. Some people come there, just a group of girls, etc. But our day was a family day, and that's what made it special.