Grundy County Horsepower. Chicken Power, Too

Turds dot the roads like a giant linear checkers game. Up the road, a hundred buggies parked outside the local produce market. A giant four-horse draft team passed me, its wagoneer headed to plow a field. We waved at one another, us drivers, each a foreign object to the other, with one common bond: tolerance. It’s refreshing to absorb elements of this passive culture, even as an outsider looking in.

For anything smaller than a goat, this is free range country. There are free range chickens, and free range turtles, and of course, free range turds. You can’t dodge turds the way you dodge turtles. There are too many…almost as many turds as chickens. So I drove full steam ahead, breaking down the horse turds so they could wash away more easily, and fertilize the ditch, which, by the way, is dotted with chickens.

The road apples come from the predominant source of locomotion and power in the Jamesport area, at least among the good Amish people, vehicles with precisely one horsepower. It takes approximately 7000 chickens to produce one horsepower. That may be the biggest reason why Ben Hur didn’t use chickens to pull his chariot. On Rt WW, I drove through a flock of free range chickens crossing the road. I didn’t ask why.

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