Letter from a farm kid

Dear Ma and Pa,

I am well. I hope you are too.

Tell Walt and Elmer that the U.S. Army beats working for old man Doggett by a mile. They oughta join up quick before all of the places are taken.

I was restless at first because you got to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m., but I am getting so I like to sleep late. All you got to do before breakfast is straighten up your bunk and shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay … practically nothing.

We go on “route marches,” which the sergeant says are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it’s not my place to tell him different. A route march is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city boys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks.

I keep getting medals for shooting. I don’t know why. The bull’s-eye is near as big as a chipmunk’s head, and it don’t move, and it ain’t shooting back at you. All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it. You don’t even load your own cartridges. They come in boxes.

We have something they call hand-to-hand combat training, where I get to wrestle with them city boys. I have to be careful cause they break easy. It ain’t like fighting with that old bull at home. I’m about the best they got in this, except for that Buck Jordan from over in Moonshine Gulch. I only beat him once. He joined up the same time as me, but I’m only 5’6″ and 140 pounds and he’s 6’8″ and near 280 pounds dry.

Tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join up before other fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding in!

Your loving daughter,


32 Responses to Letter from a farm kid

  1. Adrienne says:

    When I worked at Dayton’s in Minneapolis in the hair salon I would often have appointments with farm girls. They usually were around 16 years old. One of them had lost her mom so it fell to her to make breakfast and the other meals for all the farm hands. She routinely got up at 4am, did breakfast, milked cows, fed chickens, etc – all before going off to school.

    It was a big deal for her and her friends to come to the “cities” to shop, have lunch, and get their hair done. It’s rare to see girls that age who are so mature that their parents were comfortable letting them drive for hours to the city. The contrast between them and the city kids that age was startling. They were perfect little ladies and smart as whips. City parents do their children a big disservice by not requiring some sort of work.

    Liked by 8 people

  2. Bwaahaaha! I had to read this to my son after he heard me sputtering. We love it!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Scottie says:

    Reblogged this on Scotties Toy Box and commented:
    I was totally thrown by the ending. The whole things was grand, but I was so delighted by the end. Of course I was laughing so hard I had to keep drying my eyes to see enough to read it again. Thanks, you sure have made this part of my day happy. Hugs

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Reblogged this on The Writers Desk and commented:
    This is the best.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Darlene says:

    Reblogged this on Darlene Foster's Blog and commented:
    Us farm kids are tough!!Thought you might enjoy this.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. OMG. This is hilarious. As I read it, I thought, of course, this was a boy talking. Really great twist at the end! “Your loving daughter!”

    Liked by 3 people

  7. LOL…Love it…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. davidprosser says:

    Fantastic fun.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    A note from The Bluebird of Bitterness that will make you weep…. in a good way..

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Absolutely brilliant and the ending was just so funny.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. LOVED this – especially the ending. Perspective is ALL.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Citizen Tom says:

    Reblogged this on Citizen Tom and commented:
    This is a reblog of an old joke with a new twist, an Elly May Clampett ending (=> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donna_Douglas).

    After I wrote a comment, I decided I may as well reblog the joke. It is funny! Anyway, please read the joke, and then read the rest of my comment.

    I was still in school 1962–1971 when The Beverly Hillbillies (=> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beverly_Hillbillies) first aired. One of the show’s big jokes was the notion that Elly could beat up strong as an ox Jethro. Such was obviously not meant to be taken seriously, but it seems some people now insist that we do.

    The new version of the “joke” is still funny, I suppose. What has changed is the nature of the butt of the joke.

    Every joke has a butt. We laugh at someone. If we laugh at someone else, that is ridicule. If we laugh at ourselves, that is as it should be. When we laugh at ourselves, we share an admission of humility.

    When we laughed at the antics of Elly and Jethro, we laughed at the ridiculousness of our own prejudices. Yeah, we had prejudices about the Appalachian country folk. Dumb and as strong as oxen, we liked to think. The mythical strength of Elly poked a gaping hole in that prejudice.

    So what did we do? What humility did we learn? What grand wisdom did we gain after receiving further decades of instruction in our public schools and from the mainstream news media? In our greater omniscience, we now expect Elly (and city girls too), the wonder women of our age, to out-wrestle Buck Jordan from over in Moonshine Gulch. For real!

    Might work, I suppose. Put Elly in a Wonder Woman outfit, and I bet Buck would swoon with delight at the prospect of wrestling her. Perhaps that is how she won once.

    Funny thing is I think we are still laughing at the ridiculousness of our own prejudices. Unfortunately, they have just grown stronger and more intractable.

    Anyway, let’s thanks the bluebird for the new twist on that old joke.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Lyn Horner says:

    Reblogged this on Lyn Horner's Corner and commented:

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I read the title as “farm boy,” so was surprised with the ending. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. afairymind says:

    I loved this even before I reached the end. That final line just made it perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. […] Letter from a farm kid […]

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