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Barnyard Calling

Electronic mail message from Gary Less


I particularly enjoyed Carol Halverson's recalling the different ways of calling to the barnyard animals. She pretty well named them all. I was raised in Nebraska, apparently these calls were used throughout the whole Midwest. The only one she didn't mention was made by putting your tongue to the roof of your mouth and making a clicking sound which was a signal to the horses to go faster.

The following story involves another type of communication to a farm animal:

I remember my father, whom we always called Pa, telling me about when cousin Emil came over from Germany. Pa had a pony that had at one time belonged to some Indians. The Indians trained their ponies to go faster the harder the rider pulled on the reins. Well, Emil was riding this pony and he wanted it to stop. The white man teaches his pony to stop or slow down when the rider pulls on the reins. Since Emil kept pulling harder and harder on the reins, the pony kept going faster and faster. The problem was that Emil and the pony were approaching a high wood gate at the fence and Emil had a dilemma. What happened was that as the pony got to the gate it stopped abruptly and Emil went sailing over the pony's head and over the gate.

I have written my life story and writing about my growing up years on the farm brought back many enjoyable memories that I myself love to go back and reread.


Electronic mail message from Sam Brungardt

When I was growing up in Ellis County, Kansas, in the 1950s, one of our Volga German neighbors always called their bucket (or pail) calves to be fed the separated milk by calling, "Diddle-ya, dah. Dah! Dah! Diddle-yah, da!"

I'd like to know whether this call any meaning in German or Russian.

I don't know whether this call was peculiar to this one family, of if it was some call brought over from the Old Country.

Both of my parents are first-generation Volga Germans (whose parents came from villages on both sides of the Volga). The call my mother always used was, "Here, calf! Here, calf! Here, Calfeee!"

Does anyone know any other German-Russian calf calls?


Electronic mail message from Opal R. White

THE OUTHOUSE and THE MANURE CARRIER

In our farm out house, the toilet paper was segregated, the Eaton's catalogue was for the men and boys, but the peach and orange fruit wrappers was strictly for the women. No foolin', everybody obeyed this rule!

We cleaned our horse barns on a relay system, one son moved the stuff from the horse stalls, the next son threw it to the back door and the youngest had the job of putting it on the stone boat. Unfortunately the manure from the centre aisle was aimed "head high" to get the attention of the guy at the door. I was the youngest so I learned to "duck" very quickly.

Here is a trick we used to play on the visiting "town kids" [how come they never knew these things?"]

We had an old Fairbanks Morse engine that had a good sized magneto. We would all join hands, the one on the head of the line would get a good hold on the magneto wire and we always made sure that the visitor would be at the far end. We would tell him to dig his feet into the ground, preferably wet ground, and then someone would spin the flywheel.

The guys in the middle would get a small current jerk through their arms but the guy on the end would get a real "kick" and be thrown for a loop. When I think of this now, I wonder why we didn't end up killing a few visitors.

Did anyone else do these foolish things in the barnyard?


Electronic mail message from Gary Less

I particularly enjoyed Carol Halverson's recalling the different ways of calling to the barnyard animals. She pretty well named them all. I was raised in Nebraska, apparently these calls were used throughout the whole Midwest. The only one she didn't mention was made by putting your tongue to the roof of your mouth and making a clicking sound which was a signal to the horses to go faster.

The following story involves another type of communication to a farm animal:

I remember my father, whom we always called Pa, telling me about when cousin Emil came over from Germany. Pa had a pony that had at one time belonged to some Indians. The Indians trained their ponies to go faster the harder the rider pulled on the reins. Well, Emil was riding this pony and he wanted it to stop. The white man teaches his pony to stop or slow down when the rider pulls on the reins. Since Emil kept pulling harder and harder on the reins, the pony kept going faster and faster. The problem was that Emil and the pony were approaching a high wood gate at the fence and Emil had a dilemma. What happened was that as the pony got to the gate it stopped abruptly and Emil went sailing over the pony's head and over the gate.

I have written my life story and writing about my growing up years on the farm brought back many enjoyable memories that I myself love to go back and reread.


Electronic mail message from Carol Just Halverson

At the monthly Gerrus Verrueckte Frauen (Crazy women) supper the other night, one of the frauen asked if other families had certain ways of calling to the barnyard animals like her family.

For instance: When feeding the chickens, we said.."here chick,chick,chick".... in fast succession and somehow, the chickens knew it was mealtime. Same with the hogs...we used a sort of "suey,suey,suey,suey" sound that made them respond beyond the usual low grunt sound they commonly made. Calling our cows was "here bossy, here bossy", and so on.

We all agreed that there were special calls and sounds the farmyard animals responded to, especially when the dog heard this one..."siccum! "

Any others on the listserv with farm animal calls from their youth?

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