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Dipper at the Well

Story ID:7817
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Poem
Location:Hemet CA. USA
Year:1930
Person:Chelsea Kansas Kid
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Dipper at the Well

Dipper at the Well

The Dipper at the well

We had two “dippers”
Out on our farm
One at the well for a drink
When it was warm

One in the water bucket
In our kitchen, you see
Water to quench our thirst
And of course water for iced tea

The cheap “dippers”
That were made of tin
Rusted out to soon
Careful not to drop them

I have drank out of tin “dippers”
That had a thousand dents
Didn’t change the taste of the water
But for just a few cents

More you could get one that was “enamel”
If you dropped it on the floor
The enamel would splinter
Not for drinking any more

When the hired men drank our of the “dipper”
They would slosh water round and round
To clean the hanging dipper
Then pour that water on the ground

Then drink heartily
And pass it to the next man
He rinsed the dipper
He drank and he would hand

The dipper to the next one
And on and on it went
Till all had a drink
And their thirst was quenched.

Some chewed tobacco
Others used snuff
Drinking after these chewers
Sometimes was mighty rough

Back then on a hot day
This never entered your head
Today this would be unsanitary
You’d be afraid you would end up dead.

One hot day

I saw many foot soldiers coming down
Highway thirteen
They asked if they could
Fill their canteens.

That old well was busy
Every soldier there
Used that old “dipper”
They handled it with care

I’m almost 86 years of age
That dipper was often used by me
I never got ill
I was healthy as could be

Now I drink bottled water
Careful as can be
Worrying about those little germs
Attacking you and me.

A water dipper
Is a thing of the past
Writing about this small necessary tool
Has been quite a blast.

Monte L. Manka 02-17-12