Employer's Resignation

Mrs. Kenyon is a Connecticut housewife with a pen ever-ready against the "Legion of the Lazy" who would let freedom go by default. This supplement to Longfellow’s "Hiawatha" was inspired by Dr. Harper’s reflections "On Sharing Profits" (The Freeman, January 1958).

Oh, my “children,” poor
Listen to these words of wisdom,
Listen to these words of warning
From your sorely-tried employer,
From the farmer who would feed you.

I have purchased fertile acres,
On these acres paid high taxes,
Purchased sprays and fertilizers,
Likewise bags of seed potatoes,
Plus the tools to weed and harrow.

I have paid you hourly wages,
Paid you duly, as per contract,
Paid you, although drought or
Spoiled the crop and cut my profits,
Paid you, spite of blight and insect,
Risk I took on my own shoulders,
Risk that farmers, down the ages,
Must assume in every season.

Why then are you always
Growing more and more
Why then, when we face recession,
Do you bid me share my ‘taters?
Wherefore should I raid my cellar,
Pass out what are my potatoes,
Just because you hoed and weeded,
Wasn’t that as per your contract?

I am weary of your grumbling,
Weary of your dull complaining,
Of your slacking and your backaches,
Of your calluses and blisters,
So I now lay down this burden.

Let the Legion of the Lazy
Take up farming as a hobby,
Take the risks that Mother Nature,
Has in store for all her children,
Let them hoe and weed and water,
Or else hire disgruntled workers,
Let them cope with all these
That — or do without potatoes!

Further Reading