The Amish Scholars and Their Pony Cart

Just about the time the edges of the corn leaves start to turn brown and the first maple leaves turn blaze orange in the treetops, the Amish children parade by morning and afternoon on their way to and from the one room school next door. They come from miles, and whistle and sing with their brothers and sisters as they ride. If you happen to meet them by the mailbox it is like a reunion with vigorous waves and greetings. I had to chuckle yesterday because I wondered where they keep all of their gear in that tiny two-seat rig when they are packed together for the ride. This has been an unusually cool summer so in the morning they wore black stocking caps and coats along with dark green lap blankets. On the return trip in the afternoon sun, they were in shirtsleeves and straw hats! The pony is always moving quicker on the way home! I have become convinced it is not altogether foolish to think about purchasing another horse. I used to keep horses for riding and swore it off after getting my nose broke in a freak accident with a blind gelding. Lately, however, I think about what a practical luxury a horse would be if the electricity went off for days, weeks, or months… Gas pumps would not work so our cars would be 2-ton paperweights!

Last winter, on a near zero degree morning while I got ready for work a rap-rap-rap was heard at the door. Where I live, if a neighbor comes calling at 7:30am it means there is a problem. I looked at the front door window and saw nobody but still heard the knocking. When I went to the door there was one of my little Amish friends with a stern look on his pink face. I opened quickly to hear “Die coo is onna die road!!!” (The cow is on the road!!!) One of my steers was standing in the road just below the hill. By the time I whipped on a coat and got out to the road the oldest boy had run a few hundred yards to the top of the hill to stop any traffic. The sister was holding the pony and buggy in a strategic position across both lanes to block the steer from running up the road and the other children were calmly walking the animal up my drive. They knew exactly what to do and what a disaster it would be if a car crested that ice covered hill to meet up with a 1200 lb. steer.   It was all over in a matter of minutes but as I fixed the fence it dawned on me how blessed it is to have those eyes on our home twice a day. It undoubtedly made them late but there is no reason for their teacher to doubt their story and it would cause a disruption if I visited the school to thank them. I thanked them more than once that morning, which they didn’t seem to understand because to them it is just a normal day.



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