People often ask me how I came to be so full of wisdom. Well, OK, maybe ''wisdom'' isn't the exact word they use. I wish someone would ask sometime because I know the answer:
I grew up on a farm.
As we said on the farm, ''Don't wrestle with pigs. You'll get all muddy and the pigs'll love it.''
That's just a sample of the wise and smart things we learned in the country.
For the record, I never wrestled with a pig. I was head-butted by a steer, chased by a rooster and run into a tree by a pony, but I never wrestled with a pig.
Lately, country smarts seem to be in demand. Readers periodically forward pieces of knowledge and wisdom to me, apparently hoping that some of it will take. Hey, smarts like this are scarcer than hen's teeth - but finer than frog's hair to possess.
Here's a country sampler, collected from various sources (with notes of my own collected by sometimes rather painful experience):
- Build your fences horse high, pig tight and bull strong. (But you're on your own at trying to keep a 5-year-old out of anything.)
- A bumblebee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor. (Faster than our Allis-Chalmers tractors, too. Ouch, ouch, ouch!)
- Life ain't about how fast you run, or how high you climb. It's about how good you bounce. (Just ask Tigger.)
- To know how country folks are doing, look at their barns, not their houses. (This has frustrated many a farm wife who can't get anyone to fix the leak in the kitchen sink while the cows sleep on waterbeds in the barn.)
- You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. (But why do I want more flies?)
- Don't sell your mule to buy a plow. (Unless you can get a tractor, too.)
- Every path has some puddles. (And every 5-year-old boy is going to jump in them, and are a lot happier for it than 50-year-old guys who step around the puddles.)
- An onion can make people cry but there's never been a vegetable that can make people laugh. (However, the word ''rutabaga'' makes me snicker.)
- Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back. (The same goes for piglets and little sisters. Actually, my little sister claims it was a box. I think she's making that up.)
- If you get thrown from a horse, you have to get up and get back on, unless you landed on a cactus - then you have to roll around and scream in pain. (I wasn't exactly giggling when the steer broke my nose with the broad side of his horn, either.)
- If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging. (Why does it never occur to me to gouge steps into the side of the pit and just climb out?)
- Meanness don't happen overnight. (You gotta practice that every day to get it right.)
- Nature gave us all something to fall back on, and sooner or later we all land flat on it. ('Nuff said.)
- We all got pieces of crazy in us, some bigger pieces than others. (No comment.)
- Never miss a good chance to shut up. (Yep. So I'm signing out.)
---- Meet Cole on Saturday at the Founders Festival in Courthouse Square, downtown Warren, at 11 a.m. for Meet the Editors, and at 2:30 p.m. for ''Burt's Eye View Live.''