AMISH MAY BE GOOD NEIGHBOURS, BUT NOT SO MUCH THEIR HORSES

A little boy runs across this farmer who has a truckload of cow manure. The boy asks him what he is going to do with all that poop. The farmer tells the little boy, ‘”I’m taking it home to put on my strawberries.”’  The little boy looks up at the farmer and says, “’I don’t know where you come from, but where I come from we put cream and sugar on our strawberries.”

Whether it’s city-dwellers moving closer to the country or city-dwellers retiring to the country, a real stink is beginning to develop between these new to country life and those old in their country ways.  I speak specifically of the old-older Amish and their horse-drawn buggies.  And in particular, the equine’s exhaust (i.e. poop) deposited onto town streets  and left behind for the citizens to deal with.  Now they are.

Russelville, Kentucky, has become the first town to pass a law requiring buggy-drivers to either equip their animals with diapers or stop-and-scoop.  Violation will result in a first-time fine of $100, a second-time fine of $500 and a third-time fine of $1,000.  And failure to pay will result in a 10-day jail sentence, then a 20-day jail sentence, then a 30-day jial sentence.  And so on.

What makes this case particularly interesting is the old-older group involved – the Swartzentruber sect, among the most conservative of all the Amish groups.

When the Russelville town council passed the law, all of the local Swartzentruber clans immediately met and deemed  both horse-diapers and stop-and-scoop to be against their religious convictions and placed such in The Ordnung (set of rules akin  to biblical commands).

So far, 37 tickets have been issued by the local sheriff and 37 jail sentences have been served by the local old-order (they refuse to pay the fine).  As well, the Amish Swartzentrubers hired a lawyer and asked for a trial by judge and jury.  The request was granted and each side presented its case; with the town claiming the law was needed for health and safety reasons and the old-order countering that the law is an attack on their religious freedom. (The Amish were also upset that by being in jail they had to submit to having their pictures taken as well as the offensive conduct and language of the other prisoners.)  In the end, the jury sided with the town.

And this is not the only conflict brewing, there are others as well.  One involves horseshoes.  Those who drive cycles on the road (bicycles and motorcycles) say the metal horseshoes break down the road surface and create a groove or gully known as a  “troughing” and cause a riding hazard.  So the road cyclers are calling for rubber-only horseshoes instead.  Another involves buggy operators.  Drivers want laws passed that you have to be sixteen to operate a buggy on the road, and, like themselves, first pass a driving test.  They feel underage drivers are an accident waiting to happen. Also, there are those who want the buggies to pass a safety inspection and to be license plated and insured.

In the end, the Amish will do what they’ve always done.  When they find themselves running afoul of local laws, they will just get up and move; seeking greener (or in this case should I say) browner pastures.

AMISH ARTICULATIONS

● A great deal of what we see depends on what we are looking for … ● A narrow mind and a wide mouth usually go together … ● A round wife and a full barn are the signs of good success … ● Bend the branch while it is young … ● If a dollar doesn’t do what it used to, remember that hardly anyone else does either… ● Give some people an inch and they want to be rulers … ● If we growl all day we’re likely to feel dog tired at night … ● If you want to keep a secret, don’t whisper in your wife’s ear …  ● Little and often make much … ● No man is so wise that he knows everything, nor is any man so stupid he knows nothing … ● When a person slaps you on the back, he may be trying to help you swallow something … ● Those who have no children know best how to raise them … ● If the grass looks greener on the other side, fertilize … ● Kissing wears out, cooking don’t … ● A woman’s work is not seen unless it’s not done … ● There is one thing more exasperating than a wife who can cook and won’t, and that’s the wife who can’t cook and will … ● Nothing is quite so annoying as to have someone go right on talking when you are interrupting … ● Don’t sell a poor horse near home … ● Laugh and the world laughs with you; snore and you sleep alone … ● An honest cook serves her food with the burnt side up … ● Firewood heats you twice: once when you cut it and again when you burn it … ● A perfectionist is someone who takes great pains and gives them to others … ● Marriages are made in heaven; but then so are thunder and lightning … ● Few things have a shorter life span than a clean garage … ● Middle age starts on the day you become more concerned with how far a horse will go rather than how fast …  ● By the time most folks get to greener pastures, they can’t climb the fence …  ● The most romantic word ever, “I’ll do the dishes.”