Saturday, March 6, 2010


picture borrowed from Dairy Life magazine

There are two basic kinds of girl:  those who want to be a princess; and those who want to be a pioneer.


On a frozen winter evening
In a barn down at the dairy
Sits a maiden on a tall stool
Dressed in jeans and rubber boots.
In her hand she has a copy
Of a National Geographic
Which she reads in stolen moments
From her labors cold and wearing
Midst the smell of fresh manure,
And the pulsing sound of milkers
While the Holsteins chew their barley.

There between the yellow covers
Is the story of far travel:
Down a river called Zambezi
Sixteen hundred miles of water
From Zambia to Namibia
Round the corner to Botswana
Back to Zambia, past Zimbabwe
Over vast Victoria Falls.
Mozambique, then to the ocean
Rolls the river of Zambezi
Full of snorting, lumpy hippos.

There dwell baboons, snakes (black mambas)
Elephants, oxpeckers, catfish.
Crocodiles yawn in the shadows.
Cormorants fly overhead.
There the people fish the channels,
Paddle canoes full of cargo
As they have for generations
To the towns along the river
Where, “To travel is to dance.”

Soon the maiden at the dairy
Puts away her hasty reading,
Goes back to the heavy Holsteins;
Washes warm and steaming udders
While the motor of the milkers
And the country music station
Accompanies her wishing
To do something in her lifetime
That few women ever do.

First posted on my blog November 5, 2008


frayedattheedge said...


Anairam said...

That is lovely. (It reminds me a little of my discovery of Mary Kingsley, although of course she did not milk Holsteins ...)

Jill said...

I hope she fulfilled her dreams.

Deborah Moore said...

More then that I hope she came to see what an empowered and amazing women she already was. I never wanted to be a lady when I grew up. The idea sickened me, but as I grew up I started to see that while i still and no interest in being a lady (one of those simpering high maintenance little waifs who can't care for herself and is afraid of everything) I came to see that I wanted to grow vegetables, make bread, raise children, and still create. In short I wanted to be a women alla Caddie Woodlawn style.

Krista said...

Hi Leenie!

If you haven't seen Alice in Wonderland - I really loved it for it's artist stimulation! Ha! I'm thinking of doing Mimi's room (dad's taping and mudding downstairs as we speak - or type) in that theme. The movie is kind of dark but I would liven it up and use some ideas. You gotta see it! I feel a mural coming on! It'll be a great room for the grandkids one day, too.

Linda Sue said...

"to travel is to dance" ...let's go dancing! Want to? Lets go visit Anairam and then head on up to Kendalee's...I just bought a skirt that is ready for adventure...

Maude Lynn said...