This Article is About
little pleasures
many rivers
part time job
self discipline
wild animals
spending money
back door
chickens
Growing Up On The River
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When we were kids growing up out in the country there weren't very many ways to make a few bucks other than farmhand jobs. The only other way we knew of, even back then as kids was "off the land" Summers were always busy but after harvest, getting spending money was a bit more of a challenge. The farmhand jobs were pretty easy considering the other ways of making money from the woods.

I grew up along a river that was right outside the back door. Looking back, it was an adventure growing up that way. Before we were 10 years old, my brothers and I were running the boat up and down the river without even hesitating. We were able to use the river for making money from the woods. Having to learn how to us traps around the farm to keep the wild critters from killing our chickens came in useful.

Once we learned fur was a valuable item, trapping became a sort of part time job. Heading up the river in the boat before school was an everyday thing. Till the ice formed and put a stop to that. Then it was on foot. Walking on thin ice was something we never wanted Mom to know about or she would have put an end to our adventure.

We learned the habits of the fur bearing animals we trapped. Learned how wise they were and learned to respect them. We learned that Mother Nature was a wonderful and also cruel thing. The way wild animals meet their end is never a peaceful thing no matter how it happens. We learned about self discipline that young people today cant imagine.

The most important thing was learning respect for nature in all of her forms. Camping and hunting became ways of life. Fishing was as natural as going to school (sometimes more natural). We learned life is always precious, not only for people but the animals of all kinds. A peaceful float in a canoe down that same river today is one of life's little pleasures.

There's been floats down many, many rivers since that time of my life. Being out in the woods isn't quite the adventure it used to be. It's still one of the most important things I do though. I still love camping. I still love fishing but sometime prefer carrying the gold pan. I still love to hunt but sometime just a walk is the best for the soul. When I meet my end, somehow I'd like to give back everything I ever took. Ed


Street Talk

Say, really enjoyed your article. I also had lots of outdoor adventures as a boy - bb guns, hunting, fishing, frogging, etc. I grew up in Oklahoma, but never did any trapping. Shot rabbits and squirrels and doves for the table. My brother and I mowed grass and trimmed bushes for pocket money, also picked cotton. What state did you grow up in?

Reply
  about 8 years ago
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