Went to go visit my Hay Man this afternoon. He's such a character... talks super fast, sometimes getting stuck on a word, leans his head back and closes his eyes when speaking, then looks straight at you when asking you a question. He ties the hem of his pants with twine string to keep them over his boots. He knows what year his barn was built (1872 but my memory for dates is not as good as his) and he knows which field each bale of hay came from and how many times it got rained on and how many cuttings of hay those Dutch farmers down the road got last year.
This is how the phone call this morning went:
HAY MAN: What kinda hay you want, youwan grass hay alfalfa hay timothy hay Igot some third cut this year butnotmuch and Igot some good hay yet from two years ago but y'mightfindittoo dusty for the horses.
For a second I thought I got lost and ended up at an auction sale!
ME: Um... well...I guess grass hay, or timothy would be good, and yeah the dust...
HAY MAN: You come out anhave alook I'll giveyou a coupla bales you can try 'em out andseeifthey like it. Come out at 2 doesthatsuit you?
ME: Oh, 2 is great, yeah I can do that.
HAY MAN: AlrightgoodHeidithen I'll see you thisafter noon.
At his barn, he pointed out which was only two bucks a bale but likely not horse-appropriate, and that over there for 3.50 a bale, and also told me his beef cattle won't eat last year's rained-on hay unless he runs it through the shredder. Easier to chew, he figures. Man, the stuff you learn if you pay attention!!!
Well the hay is green inside, smells good and isn't dusty. He put two bales in the loader and dumped them into my truck on top of the foot of snow I've been hauling around... and sure enough the horses devoured that hay.
Next week, I scrape together some cash and go get me a truck load. Three horses empty a hay mow faster than two. I am so lucky to have a Hay Man! And better yet, that he's such an interesting and unique character of a person!! I should write a song about this.
Because you know what I always say.
Less Hatred. More Hay.