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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

Ode To A Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough
Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murd'ring pattle!

I'm truly sorry man's dominion,
Has broken nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
An' fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave
'S a sma' request;
I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,
An' never miss't!

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,
O' foggage green!
An' bleak December's winds ensuin,
Baith snell an' keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste,
An' weary winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell-
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro' thy cell.

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!
Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
An' cranreuch cauld!

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men
Gang aft agley,
An'lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me
The present only toucheth thee:
But, Och! I backward cast my e'e.
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!
 Or in this year's experience, about five thousand mice. It made the hawks and the coyotes happy.

I would be finished planting ryegrass but planting after dark does not work so well. The soil was sticky and it looked like more ryegrass was stuck to the press wheels than went in the ground and I was trying to lay out two 10 acre fields with GPS in the dark. I don't have a $6,000 GPS. Finally, after the seed monitor quit due to low voltage from all the lights I have running  and I got lost as my field size did not match the acres of seed in my drill, I decided to quit. I needed the seed monitor to tell me when I was out of seed and I decided I could go twice as fast in daylight.
My goal was to finish the ryegrass tonight, then plant 40 acres of wheat in the morning, then move 10 miles and get started on a 60 acre field that is in bare row crop ground. It is supposed to rain hard this weekend and 60 acres is $1,500 for an afternoon's work. It will not happen the way I planned it.
The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men.
I'm going to bed...


  1. Like to have Robbie Burns run his plough and murd'ring pattle through the floors and cupboards of this place. Voles have moved in with a vengeance, cats won't touch 'em.

  2. Where's a good coyote when you need one?

  3. Thanks for printing the poem. I've always heard of it, but never read it!

  4. Good old Burns poem from school days that I recall well. How about "The Twa Corbies"?
    Yes, working at night can sometimes be pretty inefficient when we spend the next day repairing machinery or re-doing the job done incorrectly in the dark. But I"ve done it too and likely will again.

  5. Collieguy, the dogs love eating the voles. Kind of dog candy. Perhaps they are sweeter in Oregon.

    Gorges,To think that there was a time when you got that close to the ground when you plowed...
    The coyotes were there that night and they dined well.

  6. Ralph[The Twa Corbies

    As I was walking all alane,
    I heard twa corbies makin a mane;
    The tane unto the ither say,
    "Whar sall we gang and dine the-day?"

    "In ahint yon auld fail dyke,
    I wot there lies a new slain knight;
    And nane do ken that he lies there,
    But his hawk, his hound an his lady fair."

    "His hound is tae the huntin gane,
    His hawk tae fetch the wild-fowl hame,
    His lady's tain anither mate,
    So we may mak oor dinner swate."

    "Ye'll sit on his white hause-bane,
    And I'll pike oot his bonny blue een;
    Wi ae lock o his gowden hair
    We'll theek oor nest whan it grows bare."

    "Mony a one for him makes mane,
    But nane sall ken whar he is gane;
    Oer his white banes, whan they are bare,
    The wind sall blaw for evermair."


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