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There Was A Little Horse Tradin’ Going On Back On The Farm

Oil Boom Shifts The Landscape Of Rural North Dakota
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There were a lot of different animals and critters that made their way onto the yard on that little farm I grew up on.

In addition to the usual farm animals like cows, calves, pigs and chickens, there was the occasional goat (it’s true, they eat anything), a few sheep now and then, cats would wander in and out (well, not out if the dog saw them), we tried raising baby fox one time (that, ah, didn’t work out well) and other friends of the land.

Sometimes it would be interesting what Dad would bring home from the Pipestone Sale Barn. If no one else wanted it, well, Marv would bring it on home.

And then there was Stormy. Stormy was a horse.

Truth be known, Stormy was pretty much my brother’s horse. I was just knee-high-to-a-grasshopper when Stormy came to the 80 acre rented farm we called home. I talked with my older brother (by five years) the other day and we were reminiscing about Stormy and I asked him where in the world Pop found him.

North of Woodstock, he said, we got him from ‘a guy’ north of Woodstock. My brother Larry said we had him for a number of years, and I do remember sitting on him, up in that saddle.

What kind of horse was Stormy? Well, to a 7-year-old he was a big horse, that’s what he was. Looking back though through the decades, I think he was a quarter horse.

Anyway, the day came when Larry was old enough to get his own car. Since, uh, money was not exactly plentiful ‘in those days’, he scraped up some bucks like I did – baling hay, trapping gophers, working here and there. It still wasn’t enough so….

Dad did a little horse trading.

He drove over to DeBoer Chevrolet in Edgerton, did a little dickering, did a little back-and-forth. It’s pretty much how a lot of deals got done back in those days. And the next thing you know: Larry has a used 1958 Chevy – his first car – and Mr. DeBoer had himself a horse (not sure if it was his first one, I’d bet not).

Was there also money exchanged in the deal? Probably, but I’m thinking it was probably not a whole lot.

Anyway, a horse for a car. Not a bad deal for us. Not a bad deal for them. We both got what we wanted. And that, in the final analysis, is truly the art of the deal.

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