If it smells like a duck . . .

Most women would take it as an insult if they’re husband told them, “go take a shower, you stink.”
I just laughed, stripped, and got in the shower.
He was right.
I’d just spent an hour playing in a big ol’ barn with a herd of dairy cows.
Granted it was one of the cleanest barns I had ever seen – and as a western Sullivan native, I’ve seen my fair share.
That’s precisely why I took the not-so-gentle bit of advice in stride.
Barns smell.
So what.
If you’ve ever had a toilet-training toddler, you know – “everybody poops.” Cows just have to have someone clean up behind them when they do it.
And no matter how good the farmer is at cleaning, it’s impossible to keep up with every bovine bowel movement while you’re busy milking.
Never mind this is an enclosed space (kind of like the unisex bathroom on the top floor of the Democrat), and it’s heated just as well as you would any other place you’d keep your pets.
I can’t say I really smell “barn.”
For 17 years, I didn’t smell cigarette smoke either – it was part of the daily assault on my nostrils.
So when newbies – whether they’re visitors from out of the area or just across the county – start whining about the stink of manure as they drive past a farm, I’m usually confounded.
Sure, I smell liquid manure if the clouds are laying low – who doesn’t? And let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like the eau de chicken poop I’ve gotten a whiff of a time or two.
But when it’s confined to the barn, the coop and the fields, when the place is otherwise immaculate and the folks who live there clean up after a trip to the barn the way a mechanic washes up after he leaves his garage or a newspaper reporter takes a shower after tromping through muddy floodwaters . . . sooooooo what?
Frankly, I left the Weissmann farm up the road from me in Callicoon Center a few weeks ago planning to go back as soon as possible.
Next time, I’ll have Jillian in tow, and I have a feeling she’ll want to spend her time there exactly as I spent my evening visit.
I was the proverbial kid in a candy store.
I picked up handfuls of hay and let the cows literally lick it from my fingers.
I got those delicious shivers down my back as the bumps on the big pink tongue ran over my knuckles.
Kind of makes you think twice about buying tongue from the corner deli, huh?
I scratched furry ears and ran my fingertips over smooth noses.
And when I had to go home, I climbed into my car gleeful . . . albeit stinky.
I’ll just keep it in mind next time Jonathan heads into the basement to change out the cats’ litter boxes.
“Wow, honey, you stink!”

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