A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Friday, September 16, 2011

Amish Desperados and Shwantzendongles

Fear Not
Your government is protecting you from these scofflaws

who did not affix orange safety triangles to their buggies.  The Swartzentruber Amish in Kentucky evidently consider the bright orange devices hochmutig, or "showy," and prefer to use more humble reflective tape.  They look like hobbits.  Note the height of the desperado in the lower left.  Personally, I think they are being hochmutig about not being hochmutig, but then my ancestors were regular church, Gott sei dank.
+ + +
Of course, there are Amish desperados.  A number of years ago, an Amish drug ring was broken up in Lancaster Co.  It was led by two men, both named Abner Stoltzfuss.  They were not related.  I'm trying to imagine them making a getaway in their buggies......
+ ++
Which reminds me of the Amish woman who was driving her buggy down a county road in Lancaster County when the cop pulls her over.  "What is wrong officer?" she asked the man humbly.
"I just wanted to tell you that your tail-light is busted.  That's a violation."
"Ach.  It must have happened in the town.  I will tell my husband Jacob when I am to the house come."
The cop is about to walk away when he notices that one of the reins is wrapped around the horse's scrotum.  "Ma'am," he says, "that's just wrong.  You can't wind a rein around the horse's um his you know..."  And he points.
The woman gives him a puzzled look and says, "I do not understand."
"Never mind," he says.  "Tell your husband.  He'll know what to do."
And so the woman returns to the farm and finds her husband.  "And how did it go in the town among the English?" he asks.
"It went good," she answers, tells him of the goods she purchased, and "Oh, the tail light on the buggy is vorbei.  A nice policeman stopped me and told me about it."
"That's good.  Was there anything else?"
"Yes, there was.  I didn't understand.  He said there was something wrong with the emergency brake."
+ + +
Which reminds me of another story.
It had been raining furiously on the farm and the following day the ground was treacherous with sucking mud.  The horse wandered into a field and found himself mired in deep sticky mud, unable to move.  He looks around the farmyard and sees a chicken.
"Hey, chicken!" he calls.
"Ya, horse?" the chicken answers.
"I'm done stuck here, chicken.  You will have to pull me out."
"What, you crazy, horse?  I'm a chicken.  How am I to pull a big heavy horse out of the mud?" 
The horse thinks this over, then says, "You see that there John Deere in the field?  Drive it over here and throw me a rope.  Then use the John Deere to pull me out." 
The chicken does as asked and soon the horse is free. 
But it is not long after that the chicken is also caught in a mud pool, though a smaller one than that which had the horse trapped.  "Quick, horse.  Get the John Deere!" cries the chicken. 
But the horse simply walks over to the chicken and straddles the mud pool.  "Now," says horse, "grab hold of my shwantzendongle." 
The chicken complies and horse walks the chicken out of the mud. 
Which proves that if you are built like a horse, you don't need no John Deere to pick up chicks. 

1 comment:

  1. "Personally, I think they are being hochmutig about not being hochmutig, but then my ancestors were regular church, Gott sei dank."

    Agreed, on both counts.


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