I've read several books this past week, researching and playing. (One way authors play...we read!)
In the process I ran across this nugget about fiddles in the pioneer days, although I'm not sure from which of the ten or so books it comes. Back when the wilderness was true wilderness and settlers were the infringers, some method of protection from wild animals was necessary. You'd think guns, and you would be correct.
One main defense weapon against the coyotes that ranged the Appalachian Mountains (and still do) was the fiddle, and not in a hitting-them-over-the-head kind of way. Rather in a high pitched, screeching kind of way. According to the book, campfires required not only wood, but a fiddle for when the fires died down and the coyotes circled. A few ear quivering strikes against the strings frightened them more than their howls frightened the musician.
And here I thought our ancestors were in it for the music.
Also this week I attended the sixtieth anniversary of the Gamewell Ruritan Club's founding. Only one of the charter members is still alive and he was unable to attend. So we're talking way, way back. The children of some of those members did, however, attend and one was able to answer a question posed by the guest speaker, a National Director from Ruritan National. He had read through the history booklet with its year-by-year accounts and was curious about one thing.
He couldn't imagine the concept of a pig chain. Neither could I. All I pictured was a line of pigs held together by a chain.
"It was a service project," offered this charter member's child. "I received one." Now I was more curious.
Then he went on to explain. One child was given a baby pig, more specifically, a baby female pig. When the sow grew up and had a litter, the child was required to donate one of her babies to another child, and that child was to repeat the process, and so on down the line - er, down the chain.
Times have changed and pig chains are no more. But, wouldn't the "pay it forward" campaign of today be the same? Times might have changed, but the generosity and forward thinking of our world hasn't.
Catch of the day,