Sometimes it takes a painful experience for us to change our ways, and in that moment God is giving us an awakening- Kyle Idleman
Family Dinners are a big deal among the 10-Bar-Y Family. With so many members it is a rare treat to have everyone from the youngest to the oldest present. For years the best stories and updates have come from around the dinner table. Stories from the ranch, whatever sporting events or activities have happened that week and of course an update from what you learned on Sunday. Sunday dinners growing up were the most memorable. They were a time when the best stories and memories made their debut and some retold for new listeners. One of the most famous stories retold around the dinner table, is the time the ranch rooster went rogue on an unsuspecting family member.
Lou and the Rooster
Lou is the second oldest child of the 10-Bar-Y Family. For the last 15 years or so her famous rooster story makes it's round in the family dinner conversations. Currently, Lou is living in South Carolina teaching people about Jesus Christ full time. To accurately tell this story we asked if she would help us, and include some of the lessons this experience taught her.
When Lou was in about 2nd grade or so, it was her task around the ranch to care for the chickens. At the time we had close to 40 hens and two big roosters. One of the roosters would chase after you if you didn't collect the eggs fast enough, but he always seemed to be more bluff than anything else. This particular rooster was sort of a pet for little Lou, and she was convinced it was her best friend. You see our journey to chickens wasn't like most folks, our journey started with two baby chicks.
Started in a Classroom
When I (Lou) was in 2nd grade my class hatched baby chicks. I was so excited! At the end of our experiment my teacher started giving the chicks away. Many kids couldn't take one home, because they lived in the city. So imagine my delight when I got to take home 2 adorable little chickens. The one was yellow and the other one was black. Well 10-Bar Mama decided we couldn't have just 2 chickens and not long after that we had close to 40. At first I loved spending time with the chickens but as they got older the fun kind of wore off for my 8 year old self. My black chicken would always be my favorite, however he had turned into a beautiful rooster with a multicolored tail. I was convinced that he was truly my best friend.
The Morning Friends became Enemies
One morning, I don't remember the time of year or even the events that happened, but I got in trouble. As part of my punishment, I was given the assignment of feeding the chickens before school. I was a very stubborn child and I decided I would not feed the chickens if I didn't want to. I mopped and prodded around all morning. Finally it was time to leave for school and I had still not fed the chickens. Now by this point everyone was getting frustrated with me, and rightly so, I mean it was me who was making them late. My dad nicely reminded me, that no one was going anywhere until I fed those dang chickens!
My dad kindly walked me out to the chicken coop, where I sat on a hay bale and defiantly looked at him. I knew my siblings were watching at the window and I was not going to give them the satisfaction of seeing me give in. Daddy 10-Bar called for me to stand up and feed the chickens but that only aggravated me more, so I kept on sitting in the coop. I continued to sulk there, and Daddy 10-Bar continued to wait.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, something interrupted my sulking thoughts. I was attacked! My dear rooster had jumped atop my head and began pecking me vigorously. I'm sure I looked a sight, as I sat there for a minute before a pure adrenaline rush took over. I stood up and has quickly as I could began waving my arms. Every time I reached up to push that pesky rooster off, he would reach over and peck my hand!
So there I was running around the whole yard, screaming and waving my arms with a rooster on my head. It took everyone a minute to stop laughing before they rushed over to help me. To be honest I don't remember the rest of that day. I do remember my dad's workers received a bonus that month... they said he was delicious! You can bet for the next couple months if there was a way to get out of feeding those chickens, I took it after that.
Lessons By a Rooster
For many years after this experience my pride and stubbornness would flare up and I would again become defiant. However, as time went on I would remember I realized there were some important lessons to be learned from the rooster.
1: We often bring challenges on ourselves by playing the victim. If I hadn't let my pride get in the way I could have avoided that particular outcome.
2. Sometimes we need to stop being a sissy, pick up our petticoats and get over it. A lot of crappy work needs to be done in life and we'll all have to do some of it.
3: Do what mama and Pops ask, they wont change their minds just cause ya pout.
4. Never trust a rooster. Y'all may disagree but I'm sticking with this one!
We don't always see the big picture. God has given us the Holy Spirit as a guide for our lives, but oftentimes we, like that little girl, refuse to listen. We think we know best and often ignore the gentle pleadings of the Spirit warning us of danger.
Pride, anger, stubbornness, all of these bring about pain. They are a poison in our lives, but if we can learn and become a little bit better every day we will become happier. I have come a long way from that time but I will always be grateful for the lessons I learned that day. I am happier now then I would be if I had stayed that angry, defensive girl.
Thanks Dad for loving me enough to teach me, it may have taken a few years but I'm better for it.
We are on a journey to bridge the gap between producer and consumer by sharing our dream, knowledge and experience with the world. Hold on tight the ride is only 8 seconds long.
I would rather be on my farm, than be emperor of the world." - George Washington
Every day on the ranch is a new experience, and with experience comes wisdom. Some of the wisdom gained is learned through a period of trial and error. Choosing to live a country lifestyle teaches you lessons in many shapes, sizes and varieties. Some of these lessons are welcomed with open arms, others are great stories later on. We have learned so much from our farm, and want to share 10 quick lessons learned on the ranch.
The 10 Lessons
1: Put the light in the chicken coop before it freezes, or you'll have frozen eggs for breakfast
This last year didn't get too cold at the ranch until late December. We had just upgraded our chicken coop and honestly didn't even think anything of the colder weather. One morning after it first snowed, Ellie (8) came in from collecting eggs. She wanted some eggs for breakfast, so she cracked on a freshly gathered egg to find it a little frozen. Needless to say if you don't have a heat light in your coop your eggs might freeze and breakfast takes twice as long.
2: Don’t wait for the hose. Fill your buckets and carry them to water the horses. It makes strong muscles and good kids
Momma didn't raise no sissys. Being in a large family we all had animals to take care of and sometimes one hose wasn't enough. We kids got "farmer" strong from hauling water to different animals and getting our work done.
3: Always remember to chain the gate shut.—Otherwise mom gets to catch the horses all by herself while the kids are at school.
How many times has this happened in your family? During the school year all the kids are at school and there have been multiple times horses, dogs, goats... you name it have gotten out. Luckily they are all pretty good to catch, but we always get an earful when we get home. :)
4: Play hard, work Hard! Go ahead and eat the dirt, the doctor says it keeps you healthy!
A couple years ago, Cam, told one of her friends the reason she wasn't allergic to anything was because she ate dirt as a kid. There is a lot of dirt involved in ranch life and a little dirt never hurt anyone. Whether it's working hard or playing hard dirt is always involved somehow, even if its a little mud wrestling.
5: When dad says we have a half days work that means 12 hours, remember there are 24 hours in a day