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Here's Alison: Farming With Kids

Farming when there are kids around requires constant vigilence, as Alison Ross discovered. Expect the unexpected when you hear gales of laughter.

Farm children seldom find themselves bored as there is always something new and exciting to do. Preschoolers however need to be constantly watched. There are many dangers on a farm Keeping an eye on two kids while feeling nauseous from being two months pregnant with a third child made for exhausting days.

The lass was four and the boy just turned two at the time. On this particular day they had been out of sight for a while. Screams of laughter told us they were out by the garden gate, finding something very funny. The boy was a handful but his sister was a reliable little girl so we knew they would be okay.

The house was a disaster area when we moved in on the first of June. Wind blew though window frames in which there was no glass, making it almost impossible to keep the kids warm. However the owner of the property persuaded us to remain optimistic by promising that a new house would be built for us in a matter of weeks.

We had no choice but to find another farm when our previous farm was sold after we had been there just two years into a five-year contract. At that time we owned a herd of dairy cows. As it was late in the season and most jobs were already gone, we thought we were lucky to get the offer of a new house on another farm, so we signed a contract. But June turned to July, then August, and finally September, and we were still living in substandard conditions. Our daughter had been very sick for weeks, suffering from bronchitis. Now it was good to hear her and her brother laughing as they enjoyed themselves out there in the sunshine.

Curiosity eventually prevailed. The kids' nonstop laughter compelled us to take a look. We went outside to see what was going on. The kids were in the long-drop toilet beside the farm gate, peering down the hole.

What on earth could be so funny?

And then we saw what was going on. A paper bag on the board beside the toilet seat had contained four-inch nails, newly bought by their dad.. The little devils had been firing these nails at obvious targets down below.

Needless to say there was no attempt made to retrieve them.


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