My friends around the farm understood how necessary it was to keep the Kivans under control. Most of them either had younger brothers or had in some way experienced the destructive power of the Kivans. For instance, a good horse that you and your buddies thought only you could ride, left unattended might become a dreaded “kid horse” by the end of the day. No longer would you be able to say such things as, “No, this horse is too spirited to ride double,” or “You have to be a good cowboy to ride this horse. I would be afraid to put a little kid on it,” since right there in front of God and everyone was your horse, without a saddle, with two kids on it at once racing around the farm. How humiliating!! The Kivans had struck again.
When I went to college my roommates loved to come to the farm to hunt, fish, and most importantly, experience Mother’s cooking. They did not understand about the Kivans at first, but they learned. I brought some friends home for dove hunting one fall and they thought the brothers were the cutest little guys they had ever seen. They all grew up in the big city and evidently the reputation of the Kivans was not quite as widespread as I thought (yet).
As we were getting ready to go hunting, deciding who was going to what waterhole, etc., the Kivans showed up with their shotguns and fresh burr haircuts. At the time they were about 10 and 12 and to the uninformed looked pretty harmless. Having your younger brothers going on a hunt with your college friends is the equivalent of double dating with your sister…not gonna happen!!! As I was wishing for the not yet invented shock collar, I told them they could not go. The college friends starting arguing with me to let the little guys go. One of the guys, Jim, was a big moose of a guy with a soft heart. He took me aside and said, “aww they are so cute. Let them go, they can sit with me. What could it hurt?” He had no little brothers and this was such a teachable moment, so I agreed.
Later that evening, we all got back together to clean the doves and see who had the best hunt. As I expected, Jim had one or two doves and the Kivans had gotten their limit as well as his. Seems every dove he had a chance at, the Kivans got it first. I asked if all had a good time and who wanted to go again in the morning. Jim said “I’d like to go again but those little bald headed SOBs are gonna sit with somebody else.” Lesson learned.
--Guest Post by Mr. H
Note: I’d just like to add that none of these ‘historical’ posts would be complete without the pictures that go with them, and we wouldn’t have any of these images if not for Mom. She scanned in nearly 900 family photos out of Grandma’s picture boxes a few summers ago, and I cannot express how lucky we all are that she took the time to do so. All of the family photographs on this site come from those scanned images, and I have so many more. Without those photos, these stories would not be able to come to life, nor would I be as inspired to keep posting them. Thanks Mom! –Mrs. HH