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KAREN SCHWALLER

By Staff | May 23, 2014

Once again, I have learned from personal experience that it does not pay to become impatient with farm animals.

I went out to do the sheep chores one Saturday evening not long ago and needed to move a sheep out of my way.

Complicating the matter was that I was carrying a bucket of creep feed for the little lambs. It’s an interesting folly to try to move quickly through a gate with a bucket of anything in front of a hungry ewe.

I got through the gate, but so did she. It was my mission to try to scoot her back into the pen where she came from, but she was too engrossed in the pail of creep feed.

I’m the same way with cheesecake.

I tried moving her with my knee, which did nothing. So I dug in with my knee and one hand on her hip. When she quickly moved her hip and my thumb slipped, I thought I heard a cracking sound.

It’s always bad when the female of the species starts using her hips to make a point.

I slipped off my work glove to find that, yes indeed, my thumb was still there. But it hurt like none other.

I felt to see if the bones were attached to anything, and it felt like they were, but every time I moved my thumb, my stomach let me know.

Calculating the next day’s activities, I remembered that I was supposed to play the djembe (a large conga drum) in our church’s praise band for Confirmation.

Being too cheap to go to the emergency room yet that night, I toughed it out that night, icing my hand and loading up on pain killers. By Sunday morning, maybe I wouldn’t care if my hand hurt.

When Monday morning came, I made an appointment at the clinic and actually looked forward to knowing the outcome.

At least I knew I wouldn’t be coming home with a new baby.

They asked why I needed to be seen, and I said I was the victim of an accident with a sheep, but I’m not sure they wanted to hear more.

The nurse called my name and I followed her like a lost dog. She stopped halfway down the hall and said, “Here, step on this.”

It was a scale. Good thing I didn’t see that one coming. It reminded me of the cartoon I saw where two young children were looking down at a scale, and one said to the other, “Don’t step on it. They make you cry.” Oh, the injustice.

Next was an x-ray. I was led into the room where everyone goes to play peek-a-boo with you.

Remembering my mammogram of the previous fall, I was a little weirded out and wondered if they would yank, pull and smash my thumb, too. I hoped I didn’t have to take my clothes off for a hand X-ray, but remembering that scale escapade in the hallway earlier, one couldn’t be too certain at that point what would happen.

I plopped my hand onto the X-ray table, and with the swelling, it was almost as big as the Thanksgiving turkey. X-rays showed no broken bones.

With no cast to show for all of my misery, I found it all the more annoying that I had to first step onto a scale, only to be told I had, basically, a very sore hand.

Although I still was on chore duty every day after that (it’s interesting running a pitch fork with one-and-a-half hands), the only good part of it all was that I was also out of commission for mending blue jeans. We can find joy anywhere if we look hard enough.

I think I’ll try some leg of lamb. I hear revenge is best served with mint jelly.

Schwaller is a Farm News correspondent from Milford. Reach her by e-mail at kschwaller@evertek.net and at www.karenschwaller.com.

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