20 March 2010

Moving Manure Mountain

The previous owners of our house had a horse. And you know what horses do? That’s right, they make manure. And when the horse left the premises, a whole lot of that manure was left behind.

With spring on its way, we thought it might be nice if our guests didn’t have to walk past a giant pile of dung every time they wanted to go for a walk in the woods, so Milé, Guy and I decided we would tackle manure mountain and relocate it to the other side of the horse pasture. Eventually it will break down enough to make great compost in our gardens, but for right now, that mountain had to move.

Guy sends a text message from beside Manure Mountain, quite possibly ‘H-E-L-P’.

We started bright and early. We had two shovels, a pitchfork, and a couple of wheelbarrows that we named Old Bob and Vincent. Old Bob was another inheritance from the previous owners; his wheel was flat, he was held together with bits of wire, and he tipped over from time to time, poor old fella. Vincent, on the other hand, was raring to go. This was his first real job, as we’d just adopted him from County Farm Centre in Picton.

Shovel by shovel we loaded up the wheelbarrows, time and time again. Now, you may think that this sounds like pretty rotten work for recent city transplants like us, but it wasn’t so bad. We approached the task like we do any other: with humour, creativity, and an eye for the absurd. We composed rap songs in honour of the dung, we marveled over the variety of colours, we laughed and made jokes and actually managed to have a really good time.

Back and forth across the pasture we hauled those wheelbarrows, carving out a path in the grass which we christened ‘The Pony Express.’ We grunted, we sweated, we developed blisters. And yet somehow, incredibly, the mountain seemed to be GROWING.

But it’s really just a matter of perspective. Because sometimes you’re on top of the pile…

And sometimes you’re underfoot…

And sometimes you're just waiting to transform and take flight…

Moving manure mountain wasn’t nearly as bad as a lot of the work that I’d done living in the city. Besides, I’d rather be shoveling literal shit over figurative shit any day of the week.

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