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Last Saturday we had the pleasure to watch two Amish young men, "Abraham" 16 and his brother "Noah" age 15 help us to repair a leak in the wall of our trout pond at our farm. The water from the drainage ditch flowed into the pond and then quickly emptied back out to the stream.

We called in a heavy equipment operator who wanted to bring along a back hoe and driver to try and fix the problem but he warned there would be destruction of the existing flowers and shrubs around the work-site.

After some discussion with Ella I decided to try and hire some strong young Amish young men to do the pick and shovel work. Off we went to the family farm to speak to " Samuel", the wise man, patriarch of the family. to get his permission. He questioned why we needed his boys asking, " surely there are some of your own people who can do the work?" It seemed like hours that the debate of the pros and cons went on in the farm yard but in reality it was only 60 very long tedious minutes. Finally, after explaining that it was the Christian way to help oneís neighbours, Samuel relented and told me to pick the boys up at 8.30 on Saturday morning.

First thing Saturday we drove to the farm but had to wait a few minutes for the boys to finish their chores that they had started at five in the morning. They brought along their sharpened shovels and a pick, a large thermos of water and a hearty lunch packed by their mother "Fanny". Mom had given birth to ten children and was the matriarch of the family with only three children still at home. When we arrived she was off to her neighbours in her horse drawn buggy for a visit.

The boys in their white straw hats and blue farm overalls placed their tools in the back of the SUV and we were off to the farm. They did not seem to walk but rather trot at a quick pace to the work site. Pick and shovels in-hand the boys dug through the hard clay and eureka found the gaping holes in the wall. Filter cloth and mud-like well casing cement quickly filled the holes in the wall. Around 11.00 Ella asked the boys: "if they would like to take a break?" Noah checked his pocket watch and asked "why they would want to do that because it wasnít time for their lunch?"

At twelve, the boys came to the house to wash up from the garden hose and then made their way back down to the pond to watch the swans and trout and eat their lunches. After a quick lunch the boys filled the trench with the clay working non stop until 3.30. Their work ethic was simply amazing to watch with not a word of discomfort or complaint. After applying top soil and grass seed the boys gathered up their shovels and pick and washed them in the pond.

On the way to the car Ella asked the boys: "if they found the work hard?" A simple smile and laugh that the work was just fine sufficed to answer the question. The boys had cleaned off the mud on their boots with their pocket knives before boarding the car. I told them that the VW was a four horse vehicle but with a quick sense of humour they told me that they had more real horse power in their field then our car possessed.

We stopped at "Foodland" for a minute to buy their favourite "store bought desert" a very large tub of Neapolitan ice cream to go with their momís delicious apple pie for dinner.

Fanny greeted us when we drove into farm yard and thanked us for taking good care of her sons. We reluctantly sadly drove away from the farm but have fond memories of our day with our Amish young men. They seemed to have it all: a great work ethic, a fine sense of humour, loving loyal family ties where mom and dad, brothers and sisters, relatives, neighbours are there to help without the need for the asking.

Imagine, no televisions, computers, cell phones, texting. video games to interrupt their day? They all just seemed to be happy and content with their simple uncomplicated life style.

So, if you want to enjoy the quiet country ambiance for a few minutes take a leisurely drive down the Putnam Road to look for the painted hand written signs that quietly advertise : " fresh eggs/quilts for sale" and enjoy.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com