Dairy Man, Get Your Gun

Despite living on a farm for the better part of the past two and a half years, I have a confession to make. Get ready for some serious self-awareness. Ready? Deep breath.

I have very delicate sensibilities.

Whoa. I know you’re reeling with shock right now. I’ll give you a minute to collect yourself.

While I’m not exactly a Victorian lady holding a scented handkerchief up to my nose and fainting at the mere notion of social impropriety (a la Downton Abbey), I have not transformed into a rough-and-tumble, dirt-loving, cow-milking, lady. I live on a dairy, but I still wrestle with the guileless city girl brain bouncing around in my head.


I may be able to provide a detailed description of strip tilling or regale you with tales of escaped cows, but I try not to get too attached to our steers and plug my fingers in my ears and sing “Lalalalalalalala” whenever Dairy Man talks about artificial insemination. I blubbered like a melodramatic baby who just watched The Notebook when I ran over a squirrel.  Despite having a pair of stylish rubber boots that I use to tromp around the farm, I will be thrust into a horror-struck paralysis if I get manure on my shirt. While I know where my food comes from, I don’t really need to know the logistics of WHERE MY FOOD CAME FROM.

I’m sentimental about most living things. Deer look like Bambi. Steers are friendly neighbors. Geese remind me of Fly Away Home. Cows are dear buddies. Barn cats (provided they have all of their legs, eyes, and tails) are fluffy kitties. Jersey the dog is my baby.

Normal farm kids think differently about animals than I do. The “circle of life” that farmers accept (not to be confused with a baboon singing “Naaaaaaaaaants ingonyama bagithi baba” while hoisting a lion cub over a cliff) is still a concept that offends my delicate sensibilities.

It’s for this reason that I’ve resisted the idea that the Dairy Man should get a gun. Back in the “this-guy-is-cute-but-I-don’t-want-to-date-a-farmer-BUT-it-would-be-fun-to-visit-his-farm-and-play-with-calves” phase of our relationship, a BB gun was thrust into my hands to shoot pigeons in the barns. I missed every shot I took. To spare the lives of the fluttering birds, you ask? I plead the fifth.


The Dairy Man doesn’t hunt and I stay far away from any mortality conversations around the farm, but there’s something about a farmer and his gun. As soon as DM got his dog, he started begging for a gun.

So, in the second-best wife gift ever, I finally caved and gave DM his heart’s desire for Christmas.


While I don’t think DM will find time to hunt deer or geese next fall, he does have dreams of clay pigeons and skeet shooting.

(And because I want to save you from embarrassment, no, a skeet is not a small, flightless bird resembling a roadrunner. Don’t make that mistake in public conversation. I’m speaking from experience here.)

Dairy Man’s gun is just one more chip in my city sensibilities. It’s a gradual process, assimilating into this farm life. No one I knew in Chicago felt the need to own a shotgun, but we’re in the lawless country (pronounced COOOOOUN-TRAY) now.

I only hope that he doesn’t parade any trophies in front of me like Shadow the cat did with unfortunate field mice and moles. Only the mob should leave a corpse on your doorstep. Even if it’s a deer.

My delicate sensibilities just can’t take it.


6 thoughts on “Dairy Man, Get Your Gun

  1. Love it Jessica! Who needs stereotypes anyways? Most of the time they are wrong! Keep enjoying what you do, missing the pigeons and sharing your well written adventures for us to read! BB

  2. We’re about to move into the country as well (Dargaville, thriving farm metropolis of about 4500), and one of the elders at the church Gareth will be pastoring said when I asked him about where to get the best meat in town, “Oh, you won’t need to worry about that, I do my own homekill!” I didn’t know whether to hug him or if I needed to be sick 😀

    1. Oh dear. “Homekill” is a new word for me too. I think you should hug him and then ask as FEW questions as possible. Ignorance is bliss. Especially when paired with a juicy steak.

  3. Well, MW, I want to share with you that the reason the barn cat brings you his mice is to show you that he caught it them! Wants to be appreciated, I suppose. And, my daughter who went to college in Florida found out her new girl friend was a mud runner at heart. At home she drove a big 4-wheel drive truck and could run the mud holes as well as the guys. Next year you’ll be telling us you named your feeder steer, Bubba, and your looking forward to eating Bubba burgers. 🙂

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