The Reluctant Farmer of Whimsey Hill by Bradford M. Smith #humor #memoir

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A farm full of quirky rescue animals teach an urban robotics engineer about life and love - the hard way.

The Reluctant Farmer of Whimsey Hill

by Bradford M Smith, Lynn Raven & Nancy Raven Smith

Genre/Keyword(s): Non-Fiction, Humor, Memoir




In The Reluctant Farmer of Whimsey Hill, opposites attract, for better or for worse. That's what troubles animal-phobic, robotics engineer Smith who just got married. He learns that his bride’s dream is to have a farm with lots of animals - where she can rescue ex-race horses to retrain and find them new homes. But according to a Meyers-Briggs Personality Test they took for fun, their marriage is doomed. There is only one problem: the newlyweds took the test after the wedding.

Whether Smith is chasing a cow named Pork Chop through the woods with a rope, getting locked in a tack room by the family pony, being snubbed by his wife's dog, or trying unsuccessfully to modernize their barn using the latest technology, the odds are stacked against him. It seems like everything with four legs is out to get him. Will the animals win, forcing Smith to admit defeat, or will he fight to keep his family and the farm together? 


If a black cow crosses your path, is it worse luck than a black cat? I’m not a superstitious man. And yet, here I stand in the middle of the road about a mile away from our farm in rural Virginia wearing my best navy pinstriped suit.

Doesn’t sound like such bad luck, does it?

But if this were a good news, bad news thing, that would actually be the good news. The bad news lies at the other end of the thick rope I’m clutching in my hands. That’s where it circles the neck of a Black Angus steer named Pork Chop. There’s no doubt in my mind that this unruly beast was put on earth to torment me.

My family disavows all connection to Pork Chop. They refer to him as “my cow,” as in, “Honey, your cow is out” or “Daddy, your cow needs to be fed.” Somehow this animal has managed to alienate my entire family. Not an easy feat with a family as besotted and overrun with animals as mine is.

But for once, Pork Chop is not being rowdy. Actually, quite the opposite. He’s lying on his side with all four feet stuck out stiffly. He looks dead, but he’s just asleep. I can see his chest rising and falling steadily. Dead might be easier to deal with.

Judging by the long shadows cast by the nearby pine trees, it’ll be dark soon. Pork Chop weighs nearly six hundred pounds, and there’s no way I can move him on my own. As much as I’d like to, I can’t leave him lying in the road to go for help. He could be injured or cause an accident. But if I don’t go for help, who knows how long I’ll be stuck here. Pork Chop isn’t my family’s favorite animal, yet they’ll never speak to me again if he gets hurt.

A honk shatters the quiet. A neighbor slows down in his dusty, battered Ford pick-up. I raise my hand to wave him down. He waves back and drives on. I can see him snickering in the rear view mirror.

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