Children of the Corn

Out here in corn country there is a legend that the ghosts of all the children lost in the corn fields come out at night and roam the rows, crying piteously.  Probably rattling fences, and shaking corn stalks together. Though no-one I talk to can remember a child getting actually lost in the corn fields. Everybody’s grandmother was full of dreadful stories.


I think that this legend was preached loudly by mothers terrified of their children wandering off and losing their way in the fields. Using fear to make sure they stay in the yard. Much like my mother telling us that sharks came in close to shore to feed at night to prevent us from skinny dipping in the sea after dark. And the Maori grandmothers spoke of Taniwha in the deepest fastest parts of the rivers, and the worst riptides on the beaches. (The presence of a Taniwha is treated with huge respect in New Zealand because there is a lot more to the taniwha legends than meets the eye. They are not ghosts. The Maori people of New Zealand have an oral history. And  in my memory of these stories the Taniwha bears an uncanny resemblance to a dragon). 


Though I did not use these old terror stories, I did hear myself giving the children  a serious lecture about ONLY going into the corn field with an adult and if you get lost  Stay where you are and call out and if you have to walk do Not cross the rows. Walk to the end  of your row and you will come out somewhere.


And then very slowly, holding hands and almost tip toeing we fed ourselves through the wardrobe of corn stalks and into the dim hushed under world of the corn field.




We simply sat in there for a long time. And talked quietly, then without realising it we all fell into a quietness, just breathing and listening. Completely enclosed in huge corn stalks. The dogs, Miss A, Mr N and Kristy from Eat,Play,Love  and I.

This is not their first visit. They are getting to be old hands helping with the animals. But Kristy told me this is the first time she has stepped into the depths of a corn field. Her grandmother had forbidden her when she was little.  Told her stories of the ghost children.  And that rule had stayed –  lodged. We all survived though and came out smiling.


They helped me shift the chickens into their new home.  The stock trailer (sometimes called the Black Mariah). It is has a nice happy job now.  It is draft free in there and the chicks are warm with their light but I hope they were OK. Though big birds now, with feathers and everything, it was in the 50’s last night. I shall pop out when the sun comes up and check them.


Miss A and her rabbly troops.


Good morning. Kristy held the camera for me while I emptied the pig’s water bucket and could not resist a shot of miss c.  I know you can only see five. but There are six piglets in this shot. Can you see number 6? Think dreadlocks!

We had a great day as you can imagine. Adult company for me and dog company for the young ones. Fantastic pizzas.  Interestingly Kristy told me that Miss A has only begun to eat eggs since she came here and gathered them from the chook house herself last time.  When she was picking with her bowl in the gardens yesterday she was eating (with permission) the tiny grape tomatoes.  Later she asked her mother if maybe this is what big tomatoes tasted like? Yes, said her mother. Do you want to try one? Sure. Said the little girl. I might like them now. So there you are. The magic of the vegetable garden!

It is going to be clear and sunny here again today.  But it is still cool. In fact the swimming pool is steaming. I can see its misty fingers sifting into the sunrise.

Have a  lovely day.

Your friend, celi

61 Comments on “Children of the Corn

  1. What a beautiful post today, C! Loved the “dreadlock” piggie picture, especially. The children certainly love coming to share the farmie with you. 🙂

    • Morning Beth Ann, I had to laugh when I saw those little piggie hocks hanging out in the background. So fitting really! c

  2. Those corn fields draw you right in …. beautiful! I have always wanted curly hair (sigh). Laura

  3. Oh my – I remember seeing a movie called Children of the Corn – talk about SCARY!
    How lovely of Kristy an Mr N and Miss A to come and visit again.
    Yay, so pleased it’s warmer for you today C.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  4. Oh piggy shivers. Ghosts of the corn and sharks in the water…. ooohh I love it! Thank goodness you ended on a special note close to my heart – piggies! Great post my friend. XOXO – Bacon

  5. Such a sweet picture of Boo in the corn, well the piglets made it through their 1st 24 hours intact. Tonight it is cold so I fixed up a heat lamp, I was able to pop them under it whilst Baby was scoffing her dinner. I gave her a big ration cos she told me she needed it and because it gave the piglets time to find out how good the warmth was and gravitate away and back to it. When I checked on them later they were back snuggled up against Mum feeding so we will have to wait and see.

    • Excellent. You are very lucky Baby will let you move her piglets around. Charlotte would have killed me if i got in there with them. They are so sweet when they go to sleep feeding. Little babies. In a few days they will not be able to resist that warm light and that lovely straw in between feeds, lots of time yet. Baby has done very well so far! c

      • Ha only for a minute when she was eating, when I went up this morning, the straw in the creep was all out and the babies back in their corner with Mum. She has her own agenda going on! Still they were all intact and warm, I cant wish for anymore at this stage. I think you are right they will gravitate towards the lamp when they are a bit older and getting a bit more independant in the meantime I am keeping my fingers crossed.

          • We got caught short, the pig palace was not finished by the time the piglets came so the bit out the back that they could creep into was not yet wild dog proofed. We stopped work so she could settle in quietly with the piglets, in the meantime the creep is the bottom of a really big plastic dog kennel, baby can stand but is not able to over it but cannot get or sit in it. The lamp is suspened above it. It will do for the next few days, when the babies and Baby are a bit more used to the noise and movement we will secure the back pen and put the light and the crate just on the other side of the fence from where they are now. Eventually it will become the piglets pen and they will eat there.

  6. I hadn’t thought about this in quite some time, the walking in a cornfield, the quietness and mysteriousness of it all. I never heard such warnings about getting lost, perhaps, because as the daughter of a farmer, this knowledge was inherent.

    That piggy dreadlocks pic is hilarious. The photos of the children, precious.

  7. This year I put in cherry tomatoes and a blackberry bush just for my grand girls. It’s fun to see a 15 month old picking tomatoes and the juice running down her chin. Never too early!

  8. Love the magic of the vegetable garden on the little ones (it seems to work on me too). I just wish it would work on my teens!! Would love to sit amid the corn like that. ❤

  9. I’m sure that your chicks will be just fine. Our incubated birds live in much cooler conditions than 50 degrees and just a heat lamp as substitute mother when they’re nothing more than a fluff-ball!
    The scary story in this locality is of the ‘Bottomless Lochan (small loch)’ in an area known as The Fairy Glen, a great favourite of local children – and grown-ups!

    • I love all these local ancient warnings, when kids roamed free after their chores for the day were done.. The Fairy Glen.. sounds quite enticing though.. c

  10. Lovely spooky stories and great pictures! Why is that piggy hanging out by him/herself? Poor baby. The little blonde girl looks a lot like my youngest granddaughter. Nice to see a photo of you, Celi! How nice for these children to experience the farm. My most vivid childhood memory of a farm is picking blackberries on my uncle’s place–so hot even early in the morning, blackberries warm, stained fingers, and bloody scratches from the thorns. Obviously, I didn’t have a Celi to teach me!

    • Oh that little piglet is just a little piggie, he was grabbing a last mouthful while the others were distracted. His brothers push him out of the way to eat, they fight for every mouthful at first then find their places and eat up. Blackberries, i remembeer those days as a kid too. Mum made jam out of them.. well what we brought home anyway!! c

  11. Well my sister did get lost in the cornfield by our house when she was about 2-3 years old. She wouldn’t answer our calls and freaked my mom out. We each took 6 rows to look for her (I’m a bit older than my sister). Our collie was the one who found her, he was a wonderful dog. Kept same sister from getting to the highway when she was younger. I got a lecture about playing in the cornfield when she was out in the yard, as we didn’t have a fence around the yard. It was my escape place. There was always a spot where the planter skipped and there would be a bare circle where I could hide in my corn cave away from said little sister, usually with the collie and my model horses. Mr. Boo looks no the worse from his little operation. I think you could have a new hairstyle trend starting there, hocklocks.

    • Hocklocks!! too funny! Grid searching in the corn field. The yards don’t have fences around here either, I love the idea of your little corn cave.. c

  12. What a lovely day for making great memories. Thank you for sharing. You made me smile about the children finding out how good something tastes from the garden. Our kids always loved standing near the corn when the bees werer working, listening to the hum. Very interesting about Taniwha. Lovely pics. too!

  13. It was as if I was reading a fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm. A fairy tale complete with a golden haired princess. BEL’OCCHIO (the Beautiful Eye) – taking pleasure in the small things in life. V.

  14. Love the magic of a garden on kiddos. My 2 1/2 year old daughter will only eat tomatoes from the garden. Won’t touch tomatoes from the store or in a restaurant. 🙂

  15. I had never thought one could get lost in a corn field until I read about it on American blogs. That’s a joke to entertain I think. A dog can find anyone in 10 minutes. These kids look like angels, of course you don’t want to lose them. At their age and a little older, with my devilish buddies, we feared being caught red hands in the corn fields. The most popular misfit was the competition to have our crop circles passing at the national news. Without the good tools, we never achieved more than a ridiculously thin broken line. There was still an audience for that. My teachers really believed that was a mysterious thing.

  16. C– have you not read “Children of the Corn”? It’s a short story by Stephen King and will scare your hair straight!!! I love those piggies.

  17. Cinders, you and Miss A. look like mother and daughter, with your beautiful blond curls-minus the piggy locks and the red T’s! 🙂

  18. One cornfield suddenly becomes a wonderous mysterious place…your words tingle with adventure of the unknown..fantastic post as always and l could see piggy 6

  19. Farm magic. How nice those kids will have walked corn fields and listened ti life and things growing. What a gift.
    Miss A’s hair is the color of corn silk
    (and thanks for watching the feed…it’s a bit creepy to feed critters food made of relatives…shiver)

  20. A great post today, Celi! Good to see that Mr N & Miss A were the children from the city you wrote about in yesterday’s post. I’m sure they enjoyed the day. And nothing could get Boo’s mind off of his “troubles” than a couple children to distract him. I cannot believe how quickly those chicks have grown. They’re already sprouting chicken feathers! That was fast!

  21. How wonderful for those children to have such a day. The cornfield feels magical, and the children are learning the taste of healthy food. This is such a good news post!

  22. Wow, those kids are adorable! 😉

    Kristy and Mr. N and Miss A raved about the wonderful time they had when they got home last night. Thanks for sending them back with Eggplant too.

  23. Photos from a wonderful day: what an experience for the kids to walk amongst the corn, feed those HUGE piglets and move the lively chickies! BUT, my heart goes out to Boo: that darling boy looks as if hit about the head with a baseball bat . . . Oh, had a laugh about the ‘Black Maria’: do the Americans have the same term 🙂 ?

    • I have always pronounced it Marae ah.. so thought that Maraiah was the way to spell it.. weirdly i have never seen it written. I am not sure if anyone but you and i got the reference but no-one out here has questioned me about its name.. and I never even thought they would not know,i shall ask right now! morning eha! ni ni! c

  24. My friend Bruce Anderson speak oftem of his NZ ancestors Maori .

  25. Thank you again for the wonderful visit Celi (and the walk in the corn!). We had such a good time as you know. Your shots are just wonderful. The kids loved looking at them today as well. Miss A already misses the farmy and especially Ton. She adores him. I’ve not seen her take to a dog like that before. She said she wishes she could see him every day. 🙂 Already looking forward to the next visit. Here’s hoping we’re in for some nice calm, quiet days ahead as summer winds down. Thank you again.

  26. We had ‘Black Mariahs’ in Dublin (Ireland) too. I was a city girl and would have loved an opportunity to visit a farm like yours.

  27. Thanks to Kristy for getting that shot of you. 🙂 Miss A is learning quite a lot from Miss C. What joy you bring, not only to your visitors, but to us, as well.

  28. Wonderful photos Cecilia. That first shot in the corn field is just magical.

    Your blog is one of the few I read ‘from cover to cover’. It’s like living in the country (except that I live in the inner city). It reminds me of all that’s good in a rural, natural environment and how precious our farmers are to our way of life.

    • Vicki, thank you so much for such a lovely comment. it honestly makes my heart warm that i have such support and care from beautiful people like you. Lovely.. c

    • Welll at least for a beach girl i told them the right thing, good on your grandad, must be amazing to have all those generations go before you in the same area.. c

  29. Pingback: Short But Sweet « Eat, Play, Love

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