Farm kids can learn patience many different ways: soggy planting seasons, bad fences, or rogue hydraulic hoses.
But patience may be an even earlier lesson for those with livestock: halter breaking calves, meticulous diets for lambs or a holstein with an annoying switch.
However, perhaps the greatest lesson in patience comes the morning of December 25th.
It is on Christmas morning that livestock kids have to march past the twinkling glory of the the Christmas tree, surrounded by shiny wrapped gifts which are seeping with enough curiosity to kill a cat. They have to contain the anticipation and excitement, moving past it to find their Carhartts on their way to the bitter cold to tend stock.
Livestock kids have to take care of the cattle, hogs, sheep, horses or dogs, before they enjoy Christmas morning for themselves. They’ll pay close attention while feeding, watering and bedding all species at the quickest pace known to mankind.
The original lesson in patience comes early for farm kids who bypass the presents to take care of the livestock, then return to the house to open new gloves, a show stick and work boots under the tree. And they love it, all the same.