13 August, 2012

Denmark: days 5 and 6

In the old days in Denmark, everyone raised a pig, to have meat in the winter. A family of 12 children had a pig, which died before it was slaughtered and couldn't be eaten. The father looked at the pig and said, "Too bad it wasn't one of the children." It sounds quite cruel really, but then how many people have that many children?  

This reminded me of my great grandfather, who left Kansas because it was too sinful and went to the badlands of North Dakota. He built a sod house on a hill five miles from the nearest water well. Of course, he didn't carry the water, my great grandmother did. 

Great grandmother was an entrepreneur in her own right and had saved a generous amount of money from selling her eggs. Great grandfather found the money and gave it to the church. He was a Quaker after all and felt having a lot of money was sinful. That winter his baby daughter, the red haired Rachel got diptheria and he refused to call the doctor because he had no money to pay him. Finally when her fever was raging, the doctor came and said after examining her, "Next time don't call me for a dead child, call me for a live one."

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that's terrible about Rachel. I don't remember that story, Mom. Thanks for sharing.