Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Lazy Country Afternoon

Life in a farming or ranching town in my world has some similarities to that in yours. The pace is slower, things are simpler, and there's that faint tang of manure in the air. But you get used to it.

In other regards though, life and the division of labor is quite different.

A lot of light physical labor on farms and ranches are performed by hands, young men who hire themselves out for temporary work for a hot meal, a bunk to doss down in, and a little bit of cash. Much of the heavy and important farm work is done by women, who are usually farm owners or are hired on a more permanent basis, and who usually oversee the hands in their light tasks.

Life for a farm or ranch hand isn't all that easy, the hours are long, and the work unglamorous. Yet there persists a mystique in my world about these boys, healthy from the fresh air, strong — for men — from the physical labor, used to the unadorned life, and to the rough and tumble ways of cowgirls and country women.

In my world, there's also a mystique about country girls too, although not quite analogous to that in yours. I've written before about dalliances between hands and the young woman who stands to inherit the property. For these lucky boys, their days of slop buckets and uncertainty could well see an end, for in these relatively liberal times, even farm boys sometimes get the girl.


  1. Let's see... I have the original image and I can see you changed the size of her body as opposed to that one of her head. You also moved him slightly and corrected some details of his hair, the brightness of his pants, and you also fixed that dark spot on his shirt near his waist. Widened her shoulder breath too, which I know is a Trinket technique.

    This is an awesome image for many reasons, aside from all the work you initially did, and everything you modified afterwards.

    1. I have cats, and I have written about the interaction between animal pets and human pets that belong to a much taller woman, so I really dig his presence in this collage. He seems to be captivated by what the little guy is holding, and that ads to the image tremendously. You feel the only thing holding him back from swatting whatever that little man is holding is his mistress. That he's focused so adds to the realism of this collage.

    2. Eye contact between the man and a woman. You know I always look for it, and it kills the captured moment if it should exist and the collager didn't take the time to create it. The way he looks up is more impressive than the way she looks down, but even the expressions on their faces fit perfectly with what you've written. His eyebrows seem to be slightly raised, which speaks of a question on his mind, or maybe permission. It's a subordinate look as opposed to the superior one she casts in his direction.

    Maybe what's on my mind forces me to see the above as I do, but if that's the case, so be it.

    3. I also like the B&W. I don't know if there's anyone who doesn't feel no color makes it seem more real.

    4. I really enjoyed what you wrote as the background for the image. It's a hard life for the little ones, but there are rewards for those that are industrious, and some of those rewards might exceed their wildest expectations.

    Fantastic job, Trinket!

  2. You can always count on Undersquid for detailed comments!

    One thing that caught my eye is the size of the cat relative to the woman and the man. In this picture, the cat is definitely to scale with the woman. (Of course, as you know, in my topsy turvy world, men and women are roughly the same size, and women are usually even slightly smaller). In the older entry that you linked, however, the dog seems to scale with the boys. Maybe that breed of dog--which wouldn't even rise above the top of that cowgirl's boots--is smaller than I'm thinking it should be, or maybe it's just a puppy. In my world, dogs are typically larger than cats, so that stood out to me.

  3. Undersquid: It's a hard life for the little ones, but there are rewards for those that are industrious, and some of those rewards might exceed their wildest expectations.Industrious eh? I would use some other adjectives like "hot" and "dirty little." I don't think it's how he carries milk pails that catches her attention if you know what I mean.

    As for the cat, well while some proportion of men in my world have a fear of cats, they are generally harmless, more likely to leave you alone than to mess with you.

    Which brings me to Anonymous' comment and dogs. A large proportion of men in my world have a healthy fear of dogs, and for good reason. Many breeds stand taller than the average man, and even mid-sized dogs can rend a man to pieces in seconds. But more on that in another post.

    As for the dog in the earlier picture, it's a small breed, and I would say in general, if you're a man working on a farm or a ranch, you pretty much can't afford to be afraid of animals. (In purely technical details, I blew the dog up from the original picture too, so it was a really small dog in actual fact).

    Thank you for posting and commenting! It makes me happy to think people are enjoying my world if for minutes at a time.