I never thought of gum boots being dangerous until I heard what happened the other day. There was a retired farmer in the area, has been retired for years, who always took care of his outside dog and cats and did small chores in and out of the house. His neighbors always watched over him, bringing in food, running errands, doing the heavy lifting. Anyway, he ended up being put away in an old folks home for sleeping in his gum boots.
No, not going to bed, but just coming in and sitting in his chair and falling asleep after working a bit outside. Not having any close family, a distant relative in another state took it upon themselves to put him in a home because they figured his mind was starting to go at his age if he slept in his gum boots.
Now, between you and me, folks, and donít let this out where any of my distant relatives might hear about it, Lee and I sleep in our gum boots quite often. You can call them gum boots, wellies, barn boots, whatever, but frequently you will see me and Lee snoozing up a storm in them. And, to top it off, not only are we asleep in our gum boots, but have our barn coats on, and we are sitting on buckets, and we are down at the barn, too.
Of course, this is during kidding season, but according to that distant relativeís view, this is proof positive our minds are slipping and we are prime candidates for the old folks home. Or, maybe just wanting to be goat farmers would be proof positive our minds had slid clear over the hill.
Anyway, not only do we find ourselves frequently sleeping in our gum boots down at the barn, but you will see us making mad dashes up and down the hill in those self same gum boots, looking all to the world like we have no reason for doing so. But, you see, the baby monitors in the house said a girl was either kidding or someone was sick or a kid was stuck somewhere and you have to go and check it out, and certainly not in your house slippers.
And, that distant city relative would go, "Hmmmmm, baby monitors in the house and also down at the barn, eh?"
Or, take the other night when Lee and I were running around outside with flashlights. Every now and then you would hear a baby kid yell in surprise, and then see us running, yes, in our gum boots, to the lighted run-in shed carrying a kid. What on earth? Why, it was time for their shots and wormings and no kid gives in to that willingly. So the cloak and dagger approach in the dead of night when all good kids are bedded down works best for us in catching the fast little boogers.
Now calling the goats in from pasture, strange antics go on there, and all of it involves gum boots and a bucket. Only this time we have feed in the bucket and as soon as the goats see the feed bucket, itís a stampede to get to that bucket. This is where it is best to have speedy gum boots and to time it just right. If you find you have miscalculated and the goats can run faster then you to the feed area, you will see us throwing the feed bucket up in the air and putting those gum boots into overdrive. You sort of wonder what a distant relative would think seeing us flailing around in gum boots, throwing buckets up in the air.
And, not only do we have the pair of gum boots we are wearing at the moment, but we have a couple of extra pairs in the house for just in case. Just in case what, you might ask. Well, just in case you guessed wrong and step into a creek that is deeper then your tallest gum boots. Or, just in case you are innocently standing in the goat herd and some doe unloads a bunch of berries in your boot that accidentally get squashed some before you can dump them out. Or, worse, she accidentally does number one and fills your boot with warm urine. And donít forget you also need insulated gum boots for winter. Or, goodness, what if you rip a hole in your gum boot. I always save the one good gum boot thinking if I every rip a hole in another boot, Iíll still end up with a pair. Unfortunately, it seems I always rip a hole in only right boot. I have a nice batch of good left boots if anyone needs one.
The only thing I can figure to protect yourself from the dangers of gum boots is to wear tennis shoes and put up with wet cold feet, or make sure those distant relatives donít realize they are related to you. If they do know about you, include those relatives in your activities by sending newsletters as to your goat farming chores and the oddities thereof, so they can judge accurately whether you are losing it or not. Like for example if this occurs, instead of you sleeping down in the barn with the goats during kidding like your relatives are use to hearing about, you start moving all the goats up into the living room for kidding. No matter how wistfully we have all thought about that, itís still a no, no and distant relatives will consider that extremely odd. Now, itís okay to keep the bottle kids in a Rubber Maid tub in the living room, make sure those distant relatives understand that.
So, really, I just donít know how to protect you from the dangers of gum boots. We need the dern things in our goat farming, so what do you do? All I can say is keep an eye out on those distant relatives and tell them you are keeping watch over their activities in the big city in order to protect them from themselves. That might make them back off some and leave you and your gum boots alone.