Gwen Peterson: Baling continues, rain or shine, a poem
Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog, claims it’s going to be an early spring — according to one source. According to another, the little varmint asserts we’re to have six more weeks of winter. Either way, it works out about the same.
Either way, cowboys and ranchers are adding to their collections of bale string. Whether big round, big square or small square, the string piles up.
In years gone by, baling wire was a useful castoff material. Baling wire could be used to fix fences, close gaps and squeeze between vehicle door and frame after the keys got locked inside.
Nowadays, it’s baling string that accumulates over the winter. It lacks the necessary rigidity if you want a tool for prying. Still, the stuff is useful in many ways.
THE TWINE THAT BINDS
Now, baling string’s a common thing
Real useful on a ranch.
It fixes fences, ties up gates
And maybe holds up pants.
When winter comes and snow lies deep
A ranch man loads a bunch
Of string-tied bales into his truck
To take the cattle lunch
Each time he busts a stretched-tight string
And scatters out the hay,
He’s left a-holding loops of twine
That pile up day by day.
Now some just drop it on the ground—
That ugly tangled string–
Which makes a mess and chokes out growth
Of new grass in the spring.
Others toss twine in the truck.
It piles up behind the cab.
By spring the string has turned into
A heavy concrete slab
Or if the stockrack’s fastened on,
It makes a handy place
To loop the strings like strands of hair—
A kind of bale-string lace.
Or make a braided macramé
To hang upon the wall.
Or harness up a two year old
To save him from a fall.
Twine once rescued Fluff the Cat
Who fell into a well.
Baling string let down a basket
And Fluff climbed in pell mell.
Kids use twine for a fishing line
With safety pin for hook.
And if they catch a trout or two,
Take them home to cook.
Though baling twine’s indeed a blessing,
On that we can agree,
(But keep the fact I hate the stuff
A secret twixt you and me!) ❖
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