Your skin’s waterproof

I worked in agriculture when I left school. It was a great job for a young lad – outdoors, working with livestock, tractor work and wholesome food. The wages did not reflect the long hours worked – 60 hour week – but at 15 I didn’t really notice. I was too busy enjoying the work. Be this as it may while the job was enjoyable it was not always the case with the farmer I worked for especially at one farm as the following illustrates.

I cycled into the farmstead one rain lashed morning to learn that sheep had escaped from a field and found their way to the nearby colliery slag heap. Typical dumb animal thing to do going from grassland to barren land; from protection to vulnerability. We finished the milking then went for breakfast after which we left the table to round the hapless fugitives up. It was still lashing with rain so it was oil skins at the double. The old farmer lifted his oil skins from the hook followed by his son who lifted his. When it came to me there were no oil skins left on the hooks. “Is there another pair?” I innocently asked. Without looking back at me the old farmer replied, “Yer skin’s water proof, is it not?” Swine sheep.


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