Hired man’s fragrant folly

From our March 2012 issue

By Anne Heil – Lemberg, Sask.

One year my father, Peter Bartsch, hired a man for the summer months on the farm where I grew up, two miles north of Salvador in west-central Saskatchewan.

The man’s name was Joe. He came from Hungary. I still remember he was an early riser.

One day my older brother, Louis, set a trap a quarter of a mile north of the farm. He often did that because he would sell the fur of some animal.

Early next morning, Joe was anxious to see if there was anything in the trap. When he got there he saw a skunk in it. He stooped over and wanted to lift up the trap.

That’s when the skunk lifted its tail and let him have it good and proper.

When he got back to the farm he came into the house. He opened the door which led upstairs to our bedroom and called out loud and clear to my older sister, Karola.

She got up and told him to go outside and she’d come and help him as soon as she was dressed.

Not only did his voice come up loud and clear, so did the perfume that was all over him. Poor Joe didn’t know a thing about skunks, but did he ever learn the hard way.

Two weeks later my sister was walking along the edge of the wheatfield south of the house when she saw a cute baby skunk.

She bent over and with her hand wanted to stroke it when it too raised its little tail and gave her a tiny squirt on her ankle.

So much for skunks!

Living on a farm in the early 1930s was an exciting experience for a young girl.

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