Thursday, August 19, 2010

Green Acres!

The creators of Green Acres could possibly find a season’s worth of episodes in Frederic Swartout Cozzen’s “Living in the Country.”

There are antics involving cows.

Antics involving chickens.

Antics involving the elements.

Antics involving cranky, eccentric neighbors.

Antics involving prolific plants.

Antics involving poorly-producing plants.

And so on.

Nothing exceptional about the writing, and I mean it this time. Here’s an example:

A good, strong gate is a necessary article for your garden. A good, strong, heavy gate, with a dislocated hinge, so that it will neither open nor shut. Such a one have I. The grounds before my fence are in common, and all the neighbors’ cows pasture there. I remarked to Mrs. I., as we stood at the window in a June sunset, how placid and picturesque the cattle looked, as they strolled about, cropping the green herbage. Next morning I found the innocent creatures in my garden. They had not let a green thing in it.

And so on.

Cozzens needed to hear the story of one Landon Farmer, a junior high school acquaintance, who once dreamed of cows in the garden. He, however, leaped onto the back of one of the cows and propelled it by means of the bicycle pedals that popped out of its side. He steered the thing with is horns. And so on.

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