I didn't feel like getting up the next morning but the girls needed me. Lukas hit the chickens with his egg basket. I reminded him we had enough peeps and be sure to get all the eggs. The girls were waiting. I had built a third milking stall for Sally. You milk in the order of rank, so Betsy was first. I really didn't feel like singing but the girls looked at me and started to moo. So I started to sing and soon I was into it. If someone happened to walk by they would have had me committed. We were now selling four milk cans every week. Rotating the pastures provided plenty of fresh grass, I also sowed more grass seed when the pasture was idle.
It didn't take Lukas long to be a farmer. Besides being in charge of the eggs, he helped me clear the pastures of cow paddies. Our vegetable garden was well fertilized and the produce we gathered was more than adequate. I gave quite a bit away to some of my neighbors. And that is how I found my new farm partners.
At the lower end of the village, there was a young man who recently got married. He had no skills except if you need someone to help you, he was your man. The problem was that there was not enough work in the village to provide for him and his wife. His wife helped by taking in sewing and laundry. They were just making it and the vegetables I gave them along with the fish he caught, kept them alive.
"Jennick, I have a deal for you. I'm sure you know I bought that farm next to my farm. I need someone to work that farm. If you would be interested, you could live in that farm house rent- free and any profit from the farm will be split 50-50. What do you say? Oh and we still go fishing on Saturdays.”
I saw his wife turn her head but before she did, I saw a few tears.
"Well, Jennick, what do you say, a simple yes or no will do."
I knew he would say yes ."When can we move in?”
"How soon can you pack up? The house has some furniture, you'll need to see if you want any of your furniture from here."
I left that home feeling pretty good. Jennick was an honest man who didn't get all the breaks in life. But he would now, if he worked hard enough he would be all set for the future.
"What did Jennick say?"
"I think if you look out that window in an hour you'll see him carrying a suitcase."
It took longer, I drove down and help them pack up, it took three trips to get everything they wanted to bring. I watched as they entered the house for the first time. It was a big house with three large bedrooms. The previous owners did a lot of canning and the cellar had rows and rows of canned vegetable which would last them until the garden started to produce.
When they were all moved in, I had them over for dinner. "I checked out the barn, it'll need a little work, especially the roof, it'll need patched. I think we should get a few cows and maybe chickens, you can sell the surplus milk and eggs. That will help with the income. As you get comfortable, we can increase the number of cows, goats, pigs what ever you want.”
"How about a garden?”
"It might be too late for some crops but I'm sure anything below ground would be ok, potatoes for example. There isn't much of a market in the village for vegetables but you can use them for trade, or donate them to those not as fortunate as us."
After dinner we watched them as they walked to their home, hand in hand. "Are you going to teach them to sing to the cows?”
Laughing, "Let's go to bed."
Saturday, Lukas and I went fishing. Nohr was going to get crabs. Soon other boys, Lukas's age, joined us. History does repeat itself. Nohr fired up the crab pot. It looked like it hadn't been used for a while. The salt water from the sea takes its toll.
Lukas pulled in the first fish, I showed him how to clean it and Nohr took the entails and started to catch crabs. Like when we were boys, Nohr was particular, only the big ones went into the pot. We kept fishing. While the boys fished, I helped, doing the cleaning and baiting hooks. In a few hours, the boys had all of the fish they wanted. They really had plenty. A few fathers came to check up on them and it was old home week for Nohr and I. The tales flew as the boys eyes got big, but when one of the dads took a crab and broke it open. His boy's eyes really popped open with that first bite.
A new generation, but the same old ways, "Let's go home Lukas, you have enough fish for a party." We had to eat a few crabs before leaving.
"Dad, that was fun. Did you do that every week when you were a boy?”
"Yes, pretty much, as soon as a few boys showed up the older boys would come and start up the crab pot. That’s what we called it."
“Times don't change much in the village. I think the men fished on Sunday, they would come here with their beer and fish after church. I think you were the first to fish on Saturday and then a few other boys joined us until almost all of the boys came and fished.”
“I remember when we started to catch the crabs. We didn't have the pot then, we would take them home but we had to be careful. If we put them in with the fish, they ate the fish. I'm not sure who found the pot and brought it here, then I don't think our parents ever got crabs again. If you wanted to eat crab, you had to come where we were fishing."
I could see Lukas eyes smiling as Nohr and I were reminiscing. I knew then that the village would be home for me forever. I would be fishing here as an old man, teaching the next generation how to fish and eat crabs.