Baby Boomer Memory: Kids Making Money
Kids are always looking for ways to make money. I would think they do today. I know when I was a kid we sure did.
My brother and I were always looking for ways to make some cash. Selling sweet corn and apples, walking bean fields, baling hay. On the farm those many years ago there were a variety of ways to earn some coin for the pocket.
There was a time when I was probably nine or ten I guess, my brother being about fourteen or so, when we decided the way to make money was raising rabbits! That would be the road to true riches for us boys on the farm.
From somewhere (memories tend to lean toward hazy after about a half-century) we got a wooden rabbit hutch. It had twelve, maybe fifteen cages in it, plenty big for our road to money.
We went to the Pipestone sale barn with our Dad because they always had rabbits (and other critters) for sale outside the building. We began by just buying a couple or so, then a few more and a few more. Pretty soon that old wooden rabbit hutch was pretty much plump full and we were ready to sell and see our profit!
Have you ever heard of distemper? We didn't know what it was, but we found out in a hurry. What it did was kill rabbits. And it spread fast.
So in the words of a great philosopher somewhere...that was that.
But we weren't through, not us two young business men! Up next would be raising White Pigeons. What could go wrong?
Well, the White Pigeons got in with the regular old pigeons and pretty soon we had a kind of ugly grayish pigeon (or a hundred), so that didn't much work out either.
But the one thing we could do that was a sure money maker: Pocket Gophers.
We'd set the traps (and yes, they were the old steel traps that would be sooo politically incorrect today!) early in the morning. After school and after chores, we'd take our bikes and check them. One of four things would happen:
1) The trap was empty.
2) The trap was packed tight with dirt (the gopher watched us set it and outsmarted us..hard to believe).
3) There was either a dead gopher in the trap, or a gopher that was really mad.
4) There was a foot in the trap and no gopher.
We had to keep the feet you see. A pair of feet in those days (the old days) would bring .25 cents from the county, and .50 cents if you trapped them off the Cemetery.
So my brother and I would keep the feet in jars of salt and in the fall bring them to Ray Beckering and Ray would pour them all out over his driveway, count out the pairs, and my brother and I would go home with a smile on our faces.
Do kids still trap pocket gophers? Are there even pocket gophers still around? A good memory from the old days. How did you make your money when you were a kid?