Tuesday, March 30, 2010

April Fools Day - Carolyne Aarsen

I don't like to play April Fool's jokes. Mostly because I can't usually think of anything that is funny enough and mostly because I can't top the one that my husband and I played on our children a number of years ago.

All the kids were still living at home and at the time we were full fledged ranchers with cows and horses and pastures and fences. It was a coolish Saturday morning. Snow still covered the fields up here and we had been warned by the children that there would be no getting them up early to do chores. It was Saturday and they were sleeping in. Saturdays at our home were sacrosanct. The kids would help us do the chores gladly enough, but on Saturday, helping didn't happen until after 11:00. And on the whole we were willing to comply. Waking up the kids before 11:00 took more time than I like to spend. They needed to be woken gently, carefully ushered in from their sleep to the day. And this needed to be done more than once for each child. It could take over an hour and each time I went to the room, it was with a feeling of trepidation. Much easier to poke a stick into a grizzly bear den than to wake a sleeping teenager before noon on a Saturday.

So the kids were sleeping. My husband had to get up early for some reason or another so I got up too. Ten minutes later he burst into the house yelling, "The cows are out. The cows are out."

This was akin to yelling 'fire' in a movie theatre. Cows out of the fences meant hours of work and required all the bodies available. Cows out of fences had sometimes taken up the entire day of herding, chasing and making them return home. The phrase "Until the Cows come home" means a whole lot more if you realize that cows don't. Come home that is.

Out kids knew that and within minutes our farm kids tumbled out of the room, tossing clothes on and waiting for orders. Four teenagers, at my husband's beck and call at 6:30 on a Saturday morning.

"April Fools", he cackled, slapping his leg and laughing out loud.

No one joined in the joke except me. Then to pile onto the injury he said, "Since you guys are up anyway, why don't you help me move some bales and feed the cows."

It took until noon before any of them could appreciate the joke . And I don't think we played a better=r one on them since.

How about you? What was your best April Fools Joke? Do you like playing them?

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