Monday, August 4, 2014

Dead Birds and Body Armor

The other day my daughter found a dead bird in one of the horses' water troughs. (Sometimes small critters drown in water troughs; for years, we've called the daily inspection of all out troughs, even though we know they should have enough of water from yesterday, the "dead squirrel check.") My daughter reported the incident to me when she came back to the house.

"So, what'd you do?" I asked her.

She'd removed the dead bird with a pitchfork, buried it in the manure pile, emptied the trough, scrubbed it thoroughly, and refilled it. Duh.

This is the kind of girl I'm glad I'm raising.

I've thought that over and over this summer, as I watched my daughter drive a pickup truck full of teenage girls and power tools across our fields, doing what they called "ghetto repair" to the jumps. As I watched my friend's much younger daughter clean the loose dirt out of a post hole with her hands, say, "Oh, look--a worm," and carefully put it back. As I saw a third girl pull a knife out of her shorts pocket that would gut a deer and say with a grin, "Military grade. It'll slice through body armor."

These are the girls I want--tough, practical, and unafraid to get messy. The world's not an easy place. It's better if we give them weapons, and let them know we think they're strong.