Dick Hunt's Blog

January 2, 2010

Body Language

Filed under: Current — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 4:25 pm

Body Language.
by Dick Hunt, April 15th, 2008

My brother William Gerald (Bill) Hunt managed the Flying Circle Ranch, about 125 miles east of Calgary Alberta in the late forties and until 1956.  The nearest hamlet was Cessford, 20 miles to the west, later to be more widely known as it became  a hub of the the oil and gas industry.  When Bill lived there it was quite isolated due to poor roads, no telephone, no TV and very few people. One of Bill’s favorite Poems was;
Sweet clean air from east to west
And room to go and come
I loved my fellow man the best
When he was scattered some.
I have it on a plaque with a sketch  of a horse and rider above it.  When Bill was still a batchelor he often spent months without a companion on the place.  He eventually bought a two place plane to save him time , not least in keeping track of the cattle. And later he traded it for a four place with greater power. The place consisted of 48 sections – 30,720 acres of what was called short grass country.  Average annual rainfall was very low so grass didn’t grow very tall or thick on the ground.  But it was very high in protein and cattle thrived on it, though they had  to walk long distances to forage.  It was necessary to preserve spring run off by excavating water holes in low lying areas to entrap water. The required acreage per cow for grazing and hay production was 40 acres.  We harvested hay in large flat sloughs which flooded in the spring thaw and produced a good deal of hay in the summer when the water dried up.
One cold October afternoon when the breezes were marching unimpeded across the prairie, I was out in the yard with Bill and  close friends, Ned and Anne Toole who were there to discuss becoming employed on the Ranch. They had two little boys and they were feeling the cold and shivering a bit.  I had just met  them and Anne was looking at me with a twinkle in her eyes.  She said to me, “you must be married with young children” and I had to acede that I was.  She explained how she had deduced that, “You just took out your handkerchief and wiped my little boy’s nose”.  And indeed, such actions do become instinctive for parents. Body language tells parents many things about little children.  And about adults, for perceptive  people.  I lived  more than 100 miles to the north and when my visit was accomplished, I drove off to wipe the noses of our own children – and other tasks.  On the old home Ranch.

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