Entry: 20st Century Fiction Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Another little something, compliments of Dr. Matthew Cooperman.

“Farmhands R Us”

            Take a look at a map.  Now move over to the Western Hemisphere.  Narrow your view to North America, then the United States, Colorado.  Before you lose patience, peer at the southeastern corner of the state, along the Arkansas River.  Do you see anything?  Nope, and you won’t.  As stated by Erma Ferguson in Our Great Southwest, “You know you’re in La Junta when you can look further and see less, when there are more trees and less shade, more streams and less water than anywhere else in the world.”

             Bent’s Fort--it’s a great place.  Many people have visited there from all over the country.  You might even have been there yourself.  If so, there is a very great likelihood that you have driven past a small farm on the north side of the Bent’s Fort road, otherwise known as State Highway 194.  Were you to detour north of this highway, you would find there, nestled against a large canal, set in front of the rolling hills, a place where children used to play and where the chores must get done, day and night, rain and shine.  This farm/ranch is the home of a family that has lived there for nigh 25 years, raising cattle, tending crops, and making a living.  If you looked around you would be struck by how peaceful this place is, how remote.  You are surrounded by trees packed very close together, and this creates an air of seclusion, which is quite comforting.  To the north is the canal which you noticed upon first driving up, and behind that, the hills.  To the south, east and west are gently sloping fields of corn, alfalfa, wheat and sorghum.

During the winter, you would see flocks of geese flapping overhead, circling as they contemplate resting for the night and settling down upon the corn and wheat fields.  Canadian and snow geese both pepper the golden stubble of the fields and, if you are lucky, in the leafless trees at the eastern end of the farm you might see a bald eagle relaxing in its nest.  Just this side of the bald eagle’s nest you can just make out a hundred head of cattle, red and black.  If your visual acuity is particularly good you might even be able to discern the flock of calves running about, first this way, then that, as flighty as a cluster of blackbirds.  As you look around you again, you are filled with a deep sense of peace and rightness with the world.  You open the door to your car, and just before you get in, you take one last breath of air and you smell something, you don’t know what.  Then it comes to you, what you smell that you didn’t recognize at first, but has seeped into you nonetheless; you smell the country: the trees, the grass, the earth, the animals.  What you smell is freedom.

P.S. As blogdrive cannot or will not display Russian characters, I am not able to use the backwards "R" that you deserve.  Blogdrive is sorry.


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