October 30, 2018

Prank and Retaliation

By John & Joan Maxwell
Cinnamon Ridge Farms

With the chill in the air finally is telling us it really is fall, ‘tis the harvest season. Before our crops are safely gathered in, I will spend many more solitary hours in the cab of our combine. Yes, being a farmer does mean living at a distance from “next door” neighbors; popping out to the store for us does take over an hour. But being a farmer means close relationships too. In addition to the faithful Cinnamon Ridge canine companions like Stella and Callie, we have developed strong connections with as seed salesmen, nutritionists, insurance agents, and veterinarians. In particular, our large animal veterinarian visits our farm several times a month to monitor the health of our dairy herd, check which cows are pregnant, give vaccinations, and, of course, respond to emergency calls. This frequency has built a strong and jovial relationship.

In the days of party line phones, long before cell phones, our veterinarian and his colleagues would communicate via CB radio. This way a vet wouldn’t have to go all the way back to the clinic just to be sent out on another call. To facilitate their radio, our vet clinic had a tall tower. As all the vets in that clinic were loyal graduates of the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, they proudly flew an Iowa State flag from their radio tower.

One summer evening, being young and mischievous, I climbed the tower and exchanged their flag for an Iowa Hawkeye flag, myself being a graduate of the University of Iowa. While I was not caught, as you can imagine, my work did not go unnoticed. Word spread quickly through our rural community that our vets were looking for the culprit. Any non-Cyclone fans were prime suspects. When they were next on our farm, I asked if they would like to hire our “fowl” legal team Duck and Run to help with the investigation. We all had a good laugh, but I knew payback would be coming.

I waited on edge many years for the retaliation. We were vaccinating calves for brucellosis, an important vaccine that must be administered by the veterinarian, after which the calf receives an ear clip and tattoo to verify they have been properly vaccinated. My daughters were helping us catch and restrain the animals, and our long-time vet saw his chance for revenge. Pretending to sniff the permanent green tattoo ink, he said energetically, “Mmm, smells like mint.” My youngest, Kara, being very curious, blurted out, “Let me smell!!” Before I could stop her, the vet held out the ink. Kara moved her nose in close, and, with a rapid motion only someone so experienced around large animals could muster, the vet smeared the bright green ink all over her face. To add insult to injury, the next day was school picture day! It took a lot of scrubbing to remove the bright green ink, and even still her upper lip still had a slight tint for her picture that year.

Farm fresh eggs, meats, cheeses, and baked goods are available for both Cyclone and Hawkeye fans alike at the Cinnamon Ridge Country Cupboard, located on our farm north of Donahue. Our products are also available at the I-80 Truckstop, North Scott Foods, and the Freight House Farmers Market.

Filed Under: Community, Humor