a farmer in a faraway place

Posted: April 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

The kid seemed kind of shell-shocked when he came to ask me for a job.  He had moved to the area earlier in the year, he said.  I had heard about his exploits around town – he had been a big man on the local party scene.  Word had it he was from the country, but he sure didn’t seem like a farm kid to me.  Big man around town, throwing money around right and left, drinking hard with a different girl on his arm every time I saw him. 

Nonetheless, he said he had farm experience.  He looked rough.  Word had it he was about to be put out of his rented room.  And after all, it wasn’t like I needed highly specialized work from him.  It was just feeding hogs.  A strange task for a Jewish kid, but hey, if he was willing to overlook the religious implications, what did it matter to me? 

He wasn’t particularly prompt in the mornings.  Showed up hung over, more often than not.  He always looked like he’d slept in his clothes.  Seemed like a good hot shower might do him a world of good.  But then, it didn’t seem like he really wanted to be doing any better, you know?

Despite all the mess, he was a likeable kid.  So I overlooked his sloppy habits and paid his daily wage for the work he did.  I even overlooked it when I saw him snacking churlishly on the pods he was feeding to my hogs.  How much could he eat, after all?  And if he was that hungry, well, gods bless him. 

It was of course only a matter of time until he would disappear.  There is a limit to the human spirit, and he looked closer to giving up every time I saw him.  When the day came that he didn’t show for work, I didn’t have the heart to be mad.  Let the kid go.  There’s always someone else to feed the hogs. 


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