3 Bits of Country Wisdom


Growing up in the country has advantages, including the offhanded, passed-around, often unconscious bits of  country-smarts you can pick up if you listen. Or as we used to say “if you take a mind to”.

Here’s 3 that pass the test of years:

“Don’t Shoot the Horse Till You Can Drive the Tractor”

How many times I’ve wanted to change people, situations, and things. How many times I’ve wanted to give people a piece of my mind, then just clear out and go elsewhere. Folks, burning bridges is a serious high-cost luxury most of us can’t afford. Quitting a job, a relationship, or a challenge before it’s achieved poses problems. I’ve noticed in my own experience, God and life keep presenting lessons till I’ve learned them. Shoot the old plowhorse and then the tractor won’t start? Makes both plowing and life difficult. And it’s not so good for the horse.

“You Need to Learn C’mere from Sic’em”

Always had dogs on the farm. Hard to imagine a life in the country without these fantastic animals. They sometimes have a brilliance and empathy that rivals many humans. Occasionally they get confused. So do we. Things can happen so fast, get so busy that dogs and people get confused, and run back to the owner when they need to face a task, or run to a task instead of coming to the owner. It pays for dogs and people to take a moment in any situation, and learn the difference between “come here and sic ’em”.

“Never Look a Gift Horse In The Mouth”

Another lesson that includes horses. I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and didn’t really “get” this one till a few years ago. Folks can tell the age and condition of a horse by the health of the teeth. If you’re buying a horse, looking at their teeth only makes sense. If someone gives you a horse, it’s bad form to check the teeth. I mean, come one, it’s FREE. Why communicate mistrust to the gift giver by questioning the value of the gift? If someone offers me something I either give an instant polite refusal or graciously accept the gift. You can look at the teeth later.

Now, thar ya go, how’s that for some country wisdom?

Peace y’all,

Cary Branscum


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