It was a day in early spring
When fields were getting dry.
Old Kaspar thought of other times
When he was young and spry
Like Peterkin and Wilhelmine
Who watched the television screen.
They saw a rider coming hard
Along a muddy lane
Toward an isolated farm
Upon the rolling plain,
Where tumbleweed and early dust
Were showing through the winter crust.
"Is that another Paul Revere?"
Asked little Peterkin.
"His job is just about the same,"
Said Kaspar with a grin.
"For he’s the local farmers’ scout
Who warns when federal men are out."
"Are farmers making moonshine now?" ‘
The little children cried.
"It comes to something close to that,"
Old Kaspar soon replied.
"They’re all suspected of a quirk
That makes them try to do some work."
"What happens to a farmer, then,
If he is caught at work?"
"The federal men descend in swarms
From places where they lurk
To seize the property he owns
And cut him off from grants or loans."
"What’s wrong with work." asked Wilhelmine;
"Is it against the law?"
"If you’re a farmer," Kaspar sighed,
And have agreed to draw
A federal grant for idle soil,
You’ve sold your right to honest toil.