Le 26 septembre prochain, dans le cadre des Journées de la culture, Héritage Sutton et la conteuse Claude Hamel présenteront à la salle Alec et Gérard Pelletier un conte original sur la vie à la ferme au siècle dernier. Celui-ci sera présenté en anglais à 11 h et en français, à 14 h.
Histoire de vous mettre l’eau à la bouche, voici un texte qui a d’abord été publié en novembre 2013 dans le cahier d’histoire no. 19.
Ce récit a été écrit par Elva Hawley Duff pour raconter à ses petits-enfants son enfance sur une ferme de Sutton.
Jeanne Morazain, présidente d’Héritage Sutton
Summers of Long Ago
In those busy summers of long ago, even the animals had much to do. Every day two lumbering work horses, Prince and George, clopped into the hayfield, shaking their harnesses. In all of the fields, they helped get the hay cut and gathered, and then unloaded into the hayloft.
Scottie, the dog, worked everyday, too. She ran barking down the pasture lane to round up the cows for milking. Every morning and every afternoon, Scottie chased and barked until every cow was in the barn and all of the barn doors were shut tight.
“I can set my pocket-watch by her,” said Grandpa. And so you could. In fact, if you heard Scottie barking in the morning, you knew it was half-past six. If you heard her barking in the afternoon, you knew it was half-past four.
Or course the cows worked too. Every morning and every afternoon, after they were safely in their stalls and the barn doors were shut tight, the cows gave milk.
In fact, they gave so much milk that a lot of it was poured into big cans and sent to the city.
Now, of course, the hens worked too. Every morning they ate chicken feed and clucked ; and every afternoon they laid eggs in their nests of straw and feathers. In fact, there were so many eggs that a lot of them were put into egg crates and send to the city.
And, of course, I don’t need to tell you that the barn cats worked too. Everyday, they ran through the barn meowing and making so much noise. They scared off all the mice, until they were far down the pasture lane! In fact, the barn mice had to eat their breakfast far away from the barn food, and so it was that the barn cats worked to help keep food for the working animals when the winter came.
Yes, all day long in those summers of long ago, the animals worked just as I have told you. But when evening came, ah, when evening came, it was all a different story.
As dusk slowly spread a misty veil across the farm, the barnyard seemed smaller. And little hushed breezes blew so tenderly that you needed to hold Grandpa’s hand on the way back to the house. All around you it was becoming more and more still. In fact, it was so still you could hear Prince and George nibbling grass and gulping water over at the trough.
You could hear the cows munching clover and swishing their tails down by the blackberry bushes.
And you could hear the hens softly clucking as they nestled their heads under their feathered wings.
You could also hear the cats purring lullabies over by the milk house.
And you could hear Scottie snoring gently from the cool, flat stones under the back porch.
Then the barnyard seemed smaller still, and all the animals were becoming warm shadows in the gathering night. Grandpa lifted the latch on the back-porch door. “Bedtime,” he said, and together we went inside.
And that was how things happened in those summers of long ago.
La société d’histoire publie des Cahiers d’histoire que vous pouvez acheter en ligne sur le site www.heritagesutton.ca ou à l’un des points de vente suivants : Le Cafetier, les boutiques Farfelu et Nath’elle, la friperie On va s’aimer encore ainsi que le Bureau d’information touristique de Sutton ainsi que le Bureau d’information touristique.