Summers on the Farm

Summers on the Farm 1 “What is this old thing, Uncle Reggie?” I asked. I was dragging a heavy wooden barrel across the yard. My uncle and I were going to explore the old barn on the family farm. Secretly, I hoped we would find some treasure. 2 “What have you got there, Jacob?” asked Uncle Reggie. “Say, that wooden barrel is the old butter churn! Now that brings back memories!” 3 “What kind of memories?” I asked. “What’s a butter churn?” 4 “Well, we had to make our own butter when I was a boy,” Uncle Reggie answered. “We used this churn. You never knew my Aunt Lulu,” Uncle Reggie began. “She lived here on the farm her whole life. I used to come down every summer with my brothers and sisters. We were all city kids. Aunt Lulu was very strict. When she told us to jump, we’d ask, ‘How high, Auntie?’ One day, Auntie showed me this old butter churn. 5 “‘We’re almost out of butter. Get that churn going,’ Auntie ordered. ‘And keep the lid on tight,’ she added. She spent about fifteen seconds showing me how to do it. 6 “Churning was hard work. I had to move the long wooden rod inside the churn up and down, up and down! But I made one big mistake. I neglected to keep the lid on tight. 7 “Red ants found that butter, and they liked it, too. Auntie didn’t say a word so I didn’t know I was in trouble until dinner. Auntie served her delicious biscuits. She served them with butter. Red ant butter, that is! My brothers and sisters were furious with me. Auntie said to help ourselves to butter, but it came complete with the ants!” 8 “That’s awful, Uncle Reggie!” I exclaimed. “Aunt Lulu doesn’t sound very nice at all.” ™ © Advanced Assessment Systems/LinkIt! Duplication is restricted to licensees only. 9 “I thought so, too, at the time,” he answered. “But Auntie didn’t have much money. She lived on the food she produced at the farm. Losing that much butter was a big deal.” 10 Uncle Reggie and I entered the barn. “See that old car?” Uncle Reggie asked excitedly. “Auntie drove us around in it whenever we had to go into town a few miles down the road. We didn’t have a car in the city, so it was a rare treat to take a ride during the summers and feel the wind in our faces!” 11 I ran over to inspect the car, but Uncle Reggie was already pointing to something else. “Jacob, over here!” he shouted. He was looking at a huge piece of metal that was leaning against the back wall of the barn. 12 “My grandfather used to plow the fields with this,” Uncle Reggie explained. “Today, all the work is done with modern equipment, but back then Grandpa would hitch that old plow to his two big oxen and walk the fields. I still remember walking next to him, back and forth.” Uncle Reggie’s mouth turned into a small smile as he touched the edge of the old plow. 13 I looked up into my uncle’s face and suddenly I imagined him as a boy my age. What must it have been like to spend summers here with Aunt Lulu and Grandpa? It was then that I realized everything in the barn was a special treasure, simply because it was part of my family’s history. 14 With a new sense of excitement I said, “Come on, Uncle Reggie. Tell me more about this over here.” ™ © Advanced Assessment Systems/LinkIt! Duplication is restricted to licensees only.

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