NCE upon a time there was a farm-house, and it was painted
white and had green blinds, and it
stood not far from the road. And in the fence was a
wide gate to let the wagons through to
the barn. And the wagons, going through, had made a
track that led up past the kitchen door
and past the shed and past the barn and past the
orchard to the
Not far from the house there was a field where corn grew; and when the winter was over and the snow was gone and it was beginning to get warm, Uncle John got the old oxen out of the barn. And the oxen put their heads down, and Uncle John put the yoke over and the bows under, and he put the plough on the drag and hooked the drag chain to the yoke. Then he said: "Gee up there, Buck; gee up there, Star."
So the old oxen started walking slowly along the wagon
track and out of the gate into the road.
Uncle Solomon and Uncle John walked along beside them,
and little John walked behind; and
they walked along until they came to the
Then Uncle John unhooked the chain from the drag and hooked it to the plough and said "Gee up" again, and the oxen started walking along across the field, dragging the plough. Uncle Solomon held the handles, and the plough dug into the ground and turned up the dirt into a great heap on one side and left a deep furrow—a kind of a long hollow—all across the field where it had gone. And the old oxen walked across the field, around and around, making the furrow and turning up the dirt, until they had been all over the field.
Then Uncle John unhooked the chain from the plough and hooked it on to the harrow. The harrow is a big kind of a frame that has diggers like little ploughs sticking down all over the under side of it. And the oxen dragged the harrow over the field and the little teeth broke up the lumps of dirt and smoothed it over and made it soft, so that the seeds could grow.
Then Uncle John unhooked the chain from the harrow and
hooked it to the drag and put the
plough on the drag and said "Gee up," and the oxen
walked along through the gateway and
along the road until they came to the
The next day Uncle John took a great bag full of corn,
and put it over his
shoulder and started walking along to the
Then the rain came and fell on the field and sank into
the ground, and the sun shone and
warmed it, and the corn began to grow. And soon the
little green blades pushed through
the ground like grass, and got bigger and bigger and
taller and taller until when the summer
was almost over they were great
Then Uncle Solomon and Uncle John came out with great
heavy, sharp knives and cut down
all the cornstalks and pulled the ears of corn off the
stalks. And little John came and
helped pull off the leaves from around the ears. Then
the old oxen came out of the barn
Then Uncle John and Uncle Solomon tossed the ears of
corn into the cart; and when it was
full, the old oxen started again, walking slowly along,
back to the
And then Uncle John unhooked the tongue of the cart and put the cart in the shed, and he took off the yoke, and the oxen went into the barn and went to sleep.
The next morning Uncle Solomon and Uncle John and
little John all went out to the barn and
sat on little stools—low stools with three legs,
that they sit on when they milk the
cows—and rubbed the kernels of corn off the cobs.
Then, one morning, Uncle John got out the oxen, and
they put their heads down, and he put
the yoke over their necks and the bows up under, and he
hooked the tongue of the
ox-cart to the yoke; and he said "Gee up there," and
they walked into
the barn. Then
Then they turned along the road, not
the way to the field where they got the
water, but the other way. And they
walked a long way until they came to a
place where there was a building beside
a little river. And on the outside of the
building was a great enormous wheel, so
big that it reached down and dipped into
the water. And when the water in the
little river flowed along, it made the great
wheel turn around; and this made a great
heavy stone inside the building turn
around on top of another stone. Now
the building is called a Mill, and the big
wheel outside is called a
Now the miller was sitting in the doorway of the mill;
and when he saw Uncle
John and little John and the
And Uncle John said: "I've got some corn to grind."
So the oxen stopped, and little John got down, and the
Then the miller fixed the stones so they could just crack the corn, and he poured the corn in at a place where it would run down between the stones, and he started the stone turning. When the corn was cracked, he put it into the bags again, and tied them up.
Then he fixed the stones so they would grind the corn into fine hominy, and he poured the corn in, and it came out ground into fine hominy. Then he put the fine hominy into the bags again and tied them up.
Then he fixed the stones so they would grind the corn
into meal, and he poured the corn
in, and it came out ground into
meal. Then he put the meal into the bags again and tied
them up. And the miller kept two
bags of each kind to pay for grinding the corn; but the
other bags he put into the
Then the oxen got up and little John was lifted up and
the old oxen started walking slowly
along home again. And they walked a long time until
they came to the wide gate, and they
turned in at the gate and up the wagon track to the
kitchen door, and there they stopped.
And he said: "Here's your meal, Deborah."
And Aunt Deborah said: "All right. I'll make some
Johnny-cake for breakfast
And the rest of the meal was put away in the store-room
until they wanted it; for they had
enough to last them all winter and some to take to
market besides. Then
And that's all.