The Farmer

We are lucky to have a farm in our area where we can get raw milk. When I first arrived there by bicycle, in search of this precious food, the Farmer and his wife were immediately sympathetic. Their three sons don’t like any milk but their own, and they were quite willing to believe what I had to tell them about the virtues of milk in the raw state. It was agreed that I could come once a week.

In the course of time I have come to know them quite well. They are about my size and age. Funnily, the Farmer’s christian name and mine coincide in so far, as the first syllables of either name are identical phonetically. Frequently in this country the first syllable only of a name is used, so as to have things short and easy, the result in this case being that the Farmer and I have the same name.

I mostly see his wife. But sometimes he is there, too : a kind, brown-eyed, strong looking, hard working man, always friendly and obliging. He loves his dog, the mother of ours, and when she was getting near the time when her puppies were due, he fondled her body with his big hands, asking her “when will it be ?”. The animal loved the attention and wished she could have told him.

I had a conversation with him once about Germany and the war. He showed great interest for the German point of view and agreed that really our two countries were “cousins”. How stupid of the Americans to have let the Russians come so far west ! He did not see much point in celebrating D-day and the end of the war after forty years, but thought that people probably wanted to celebrate while they had a chance, the future being uncertain. I agreed with him all the way.

When his wife is not there, he gives me the milk, straight from the tank. He does a quicker job than his wife, using a different technique : I do not hold the bottle for him, but stand it on top of two breeze blocks next to the tank. While he is filling it, I get the next bottle ready, so that there is no wait for him. While he is filling the next one, I put the lid onto the previous one, stow it away in my basket and put the following empty one into position. And so on. Very quick work.

When I take leave, we say “bye-bye, Doug” – “bye-bye, Dag”.