KEYWORDS: corn, grain, techi, husks, grains, pigs

Down on the Farm

May 23, 2003

The New Heaven's Children!—Chapter 35! DFO 2284 9/86—Mills, Grains‚ Chickens & Pigs!

1. IN A GRAIN MILL, THE BOTTOM STONE IS STATIONARY‚ it just stands still, & the top stone is the one that turns. They used horses or cows—they used to call them oxen—to turn the top one. It had a big long stick sticking out of its rim to which the ox was tied, & then somebody would go along beside the oxen & give it a whack with a whip to make it move, to make it walk. It would walk around & around & around & turn the top millstone.

2. THE MOVEABLE MILLSTONE HAD A BIG HOLE IN THE MIDDLE & that's where they poured in the whole grain. The little grains like wheat or rice or oats are tough. What other grains can you name? I've already named wheat, rice, oats—can anybody think of anything else? (Techi: Corn.) Yes, that's right, that's one of the grains we eat. (David: You grind it & get cornstarch!) Well, cornmeal & cornstarch.

3. WHAT OTHER KINDS OF GRAINS ARE THERE? One starts with "B". (David: Bread?) Well, bread is what you make out of the various kinds of grain flours.Okay Mama‚ you tell them. (Maria: Barley.) Right! There are quite a few different kinds of grain. (Maria: Rye, millet.) Did you ever eat rye bread? It's kind of strong. Mama said millet, although I don't know what that is. (It's the seed of a certain grass that grows to be 12 feet high & produces its seed at the top.)

4. THERE'S A KIND OF PANCAKES WE USED TO HAVE WHEN I WAS A KID CALLED BUCKWHEAT. It's a real strong kind of wheat with big grains & it has a strong flavour. We used to make pancakes out of the flour. But you can't eat those grains raw just like they are. You can if you soak them all night like Dr. Koger used to do. If you take the raw grain & you soak it in a pot of water all night, that softens it up. You can eat it just like it is, whole, or you can cook it in the morning & you have a nice breakfast cereal.

5. THAT'S WHAT THEY CALL WHOLE GRAIN. That means it's not ground, it's whole. You can put honey on it or fruit in it or yoghurt, just like you do any other kind of breakfast cereal. Almost any kind of grain can be eaten that way if it's soaked overnight & then cooked thoroughly, it'll soften it up enough so you can eat it. Otherwise raw grain, dry grain, what's it like? Did you ever try to chew a grain of rice? What does it feel like when you hit a grain of uncooked rice? (David: It's hard as a rock!) Right! You feel like you're chewing a piece of glass or a rock, it's so hard you really can't eat it.

6. SO IN ORDER TO EAT ANY KIND OF GRAIN WE HAVE TO DO WHAT? You can either soak it or cook it. But some kinds of grains are so hard you can't even soak & eat them! They've gotta be soaked & cooked! (David: But the Disciples were going through fields of corn—can you eat corn raw?) (Mat.12:1) Well, those disciples were pretty tough guys, they must have been! You can eat corn raw, but it's pretty tough—but if you're hungry enough, I suppose you could, & they were really hungry! Try it sometime!

7. WHEN I LIVED ON THE FARM, THEY USED TO PUT US LITTLE KIDS TO WORK AT WHAT THEY CALL HUSKING THE CORN. You have to take off the big husks that are around the corncobs which have the grains of corn on them. Did you never see raw corn on the cob before it's cooked? When I was a young teenager they gave us kids the job of husking the corn, pulling off all those leaves that surround the corncob.

8. THEN WHAT ELSE IS UNDER THE HUSKS? HOW DID GOD PACK IT? He so beautifully packed it with what's called corn silk! It's very nice & silky, right? (Techi: There's about seven layers of that husk.) Yes, it's sort of like God created the corn all wrapped in paper, & then inside He put those silky strands to make sure the delicate little grains of corn wouldn't be injured by falling when they throw them into the truck or throw them into the wagon. They have to pick off the corncobs from these big tall cornstalks that are higher than your head!

9. YOU CAN GET LOST IN A CORNFIELD! I remember one time a little girl got lost in a cornfield & they couldn't find her, & so do you know what they finally did? It was starting to get dark, it was evening & they were afraid they wouldn't find her. She'd gone out there & gotten lost & got tired & finally laid down & went to sleep, so she wasn't crying or hollering or anything. If she had‚ then they could have found her more easily. It must have been some careless parent or nurse that would let a little child like that, smaller than you‚ go out in a cornfield & get lost! You see how many stories Grandpa gets into?

10. "DOWN IN DA CORNFIELD HEAR DAT LONESOME SOUND! All de darkies am a'weepin'‚ masser's in de cold cold ground!" That's an old song they taught me in school. (Techi: What does that mean?) It means that there were lots of good masters that took good care of their slaves & loved them & housed them & fed them & clothed them & took care of them from the time they were born to the time they died, from the cradle to the grave‚ & that's a song about some slaves who loved but lost their master. He was a good Christian master & he had died, so they were singing & they were grieving in the cornfield—they must've buried him there! It just had to do with corn‚ that's why I sang it, see? It doesn't have anything to do with our Story! But Grandpa gets inspired to do crazy things once in a while.—Ha!

11. (TECHI: SO SHE CALLED ALL THE NEIGHBOURS?) Oh‚ you haven't forgotten the little lost girl story, have you? Her parents called all the neighbours & they circled the cornfield. They spaced each person a few feet apart & then they closed in. They all walked into the cornfield like that & they were going to meet in the center of the cornfield. They kept going until they found the little girl lying there asleep! It's a true story! (Techi: But wouldn't it be dangerous to walk through such long grass? There are snakes & everything!) Yes, it would be some places, & it was very naughty of her nurse or mama or whoever let her stray away & go walking out in the cornfield. But she was such a little toddler‚ she was just about three or four years old, & she didn't know how dangerous it was & that she was going to get lost.

12. IT JUST LOOKED LIKE AN INTERESTING PLACE TO EXPLORE. For her,cornstalks were like big tall trees with tassels on the tops. They're round stalks about an inch or so thick. It's dangerous to go into fields of long grass like that, but they plant corn so far apart, & the ground has all been plowed‚ so it's pretty well gotten rid of all the snakes & it's just bare ground down below, it's not thick grass that snakes like to hide in.

13. I'VE BEEN IN CORNFIELDS LOTS OF TIMES. We used to go through them & play & you could play hide-and-go-seek in them because it's very hard to find anybody in a cornfield. (Children: That would be fun!) How in the world did we get that far away from a grain of corn? Anyway, the cornstalks with tassels on top, leaves all around, they're kind of pretty, aren't they? And the corn grows way up high, so the Lord had to wrap corn in a nice wrapping, nice & cushioned so the little grains of corn wouldn't get injured if the corn fell to the ground.

14. DO YOU KNOW WHAT JESUS SAID ABOUT A GRAIN OF CORN? (Children: "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground & die,it abideth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.") (Jn.12:24) How can you have a corn of wheat? I thought that was two different things? (David: They're just likening it to that.) Yes, in old English days a corn was usually the same as saying a grain of wheat. It could be a grain of wheat, a grain of corn, etc.

15. WHAT DID WE USED TO EAT ON THE ROAD, MAMA, BY THE BARRELFUL?—They used to cook it in great big pots, remember? We used to eat chicken feed! What was it? (Maria: Milo.) Yes, exactly right! I think there's sorghum too, they make sugar out of that. They make sugar out of corn too, corn syrup, because it's got a lot of sweetness in it.

16. (TECHI: I THINK CHICKENS CAN EAT HARD GRAIN!) Yes, well, chickens can swallow a lot of things, because they also swallow little rocks. The Lord made them so they'd get those rocks in their craw, because they don't have any teeth. They've got to have some way to grind up that corn & those grains of cereal. We call all those different kinds of grains cereal, & they have to have some way to grind it up. So the chickens will swallow rocks & the rocks will lodge in their craw or gizzard, & as the grain passes through the craw, the craw acts as a little grinder‚ & he grinds up the grain in his craw!

17. DID YOU EVER TRY TO EAT A GIZZARD? Don't you guys have gizzards with your chicken? Well, it's a little thing shaped about like that, about as big as my thumb. But I never liked them because they're so tough! They're about the strongest muscle a chicken has because that's the one that they put the rocks in & the chicken grinds up the grain in there, see? So they're real tough & they're real strong & rubbery. You try eating one! I like livers, but I never liked gizzards! (Techi: I thought the gizzard was a lizard!) No, a gizzard is a gizzard & a lizard is a lizard! Eating a lizard? Oh no, no! That's forbidden meat, it's unclean meat! God didn't want people eating up all the lizards, because then they wouldn't be able to catch bugs!

18. ALL RIGHT NOW, LET'S NOT GET TOO FAR OFF THE STORY! My goodness, we're not discussing anything I had planned to discuss! This is going to be a whole Chapter by itself just on grinding grain & different kinds of grain & how grain grows.

19. ANYHOW, GOD PACKAGES THE CORN SO NICE so it's all nicely wrapped up in those papers—husks, they call them—with the silk inside to really be a soft cushion to protect the little grains on the corncob. So you have to strip off the husks & the silk & clean off the cob. (Techi: That's what the Prodigal Son ate.) Yes, but who wants to eat the husks? Well, he didn't have anything else to eat, so he just ate the husks. (Techi: The pigs eat all the corn off & then there's the little hard core.) That's the cob‚ the hard core of the corn. The husk is what they strip off the outside.—But pigs eat both!—They'll eat almost anything!

20. APPARENTLY THAT FARMER WHO KEPT THOSE PIGS‚ HE KEPT THE CORN & ATE THAT HIMSELF & THREW THE HUSKS TO THE PIGS! It says that the poor Prodigal Son "fain would have eaten the husks that the swine did eat" because he was so hungry! (Lk.15:16) (Techi: What does that word mean?) "He fain would have eaten"?—It means he was so hungry he was even willing to eat the husks that they threw to the pigs! (Techi: Did he?) I don't know, but it says he fain would have, he would have liked to have eaten‚ but the pigs musta got to the husks first before he could‚ so he was starving to death!—They're fast & greedy & dangerous!—And might have fain eaten him if he'd gotten in their way!

21. LET ME TELL YOU, PIGS KNOW HOW TO GET THEIR FOOD IN A HURRY, & they've got big sharp tusks! If you get in their way & you put your hand in their food‚ you're apt to pull your arm back & be left with no hand!

22. (TECHI: I THOUGHT IT SAID HE ATE THE HUSKS.) "He fain would have eaten"‚ he would have liked to have eaten them, but he couldn't even get to the husks before the pigs did! "He fain would have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat", but what?—The swine got to'm first! He would've liked to have eaten'm, but apparently he couldn't because the swine got there first! (Techi: But when the farmer threw it, couldn't he just go scramble for it before the pigs could get to it?)

23. DID YOU EVER SEE A PIG RUN? Did you ever see a pig chase? (Techi: I never saw a pig!) Poor little girl! She never saw a pig! (Techi: Oh, yes I did, in France!) Pig chasing is a famous game. They take a little pig about so big, & they grease it first. They don't take big hogs because you could never catch one of them! Besides, they're so big & strong & heavy they could throw you!

24. DO YOU REMEMBER THE STORY ABOUT YOUR UNCLE AARON TRYING TO TIE THE RIBBON WITH A LITTLE BELL AROUND THE HOG'S NECK? You never did? He got on top of him several times, but the pig just ran so fast he shook him off every time! It was really dangerous because pigs can even grind up bones with those big teeth they've got! Remember how we threw that dead goat to the pigs & it was gone in just a few minutes!—Hair, meat, bones—everything! They didn't leave anything but the hoofs & the horns! They even ground up the bones!

25. SO WATCH THAT YOU DON'T EVER GET YOUR FINGERS NEAR A PIG'S MOUTH! "He fain would have eaten the husks that the swine did eat", but apparently he couldn't get there fast enough before the swine's mouth was too close to his fingers! So stay away from pigs!—They're dirty unclean meat anyway!—And don't be a Prodigal whose life is only husks!—Amen?—God bless you!—I love you!—Grandpa.