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Home Grown: German-Russian Farm Kids Remember "Four Big Belgian Horses"


Home Grown: German-Russian Farm Kids Remember

"Four Big Belgian Horses"

Emmanuel Gene Jerger

Interviewed: Moorhead, MN, 04 May 2008

Born: Eaton, CO, 01 June 1925

One time he put me to work with four big Belgian horses ahead of a drag and sent me out to a field to do some dragging. And ah, I remember it was a five section drag with four horses ahead of it, and there was a big wide plank, that was across the back of the drag and then you stood on there. Then you hung on to the reins, you had four reins you had to handle and when you got to the end you had to turn the reins on this side.

Of course the horses were gentle and everything, but this one day I was down in about the middle of the field there was a jackrabbit, you know how they will kind of bury in the ground a little bit, and he jumped up on the side that was the spookiest horse and he took a leap and he starting galloping and of course spooked the rest of them and I had a run away. Of course I had the reins wrapped around the back here cause I got tired of holding them. Just put them around here and then through all this process of them galloping and jumping etc. I fell off the drag and got out from under those reins and stuff and by the time I got on my feet and running to try to catch them, I couldn’t begin to catch them.

The neighbor was feeding lambs across the road, I remember there was a drainage ditch between us, he seen what was going on, and he dropped everything he was doing. He was feeding, he had a fattening pen there, feeding lambs and I noticed him jumping over a fence and by that time he was down trying to cross that drainage ditch, but by that time the horses had run into a woven wire fence and that stopped them, but they were tangled up. Drags behind them, woven wire fence ahead of them, they were all cut up from it, trying to get out of that woven wire, of course those two strands of barbed wire across the top, and he got there he got them quieted down and got them untangled from the mess they were in and he then, I remember, he led the horses to the barn and when my dad got home he heard that I had a run away with them and I got a licking, because he figured I wasn’t paying any attention to my job.

I tried to explain to him. But it was a good thing the neighbor was there and he said Jake I seen this, it wasn’t his fault. I seen this rabbit jump up ahead of him and spook them horses and he couldn’t begin to hold them. That ended it there. Yah, he was ready to whop me one. (laughter)