“You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king, except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the city.”
~ Joshua 8:2
Hi James and Ellen
Your grandpaa grew up on a farm that is located one mile west and two miles north of Volga, South Dakota. Your grandpaa’s dad’s farm was a quarter of a section. A quarter of a section – a section being one square mile, is 160 acres. In eastern South Dakota – which is where Volga is located, there is usually a north/south and an east/west paved, gravel or dirt road meeting at mile intervals. Your grandpaa’s dad also farmed about forty acres of the land that his dad homesteaded or owned. Your grandpaa’s dad grew mostly corn which when the stalks and leaves of the corn began to turn brown he chopped into silage – which he blew up into his silo, or he picked the corn after it had dried in the field – which he stored in corn cribs to grind later or he shelled the dried corn and sold the kernels as a cash crop. Your grandpaa’s dad had your grandpaa make in a 55 gallon metal drum slop out of ground corn to feed his pigs. Your grandpaa used five gallon buckets to add water to the ground corn to make slop. When your grandpaa fed the pigs, your grandpaa dipped out buckets of slop out of the 55 gallon drum to pour into troughs. Pigs are noisy, pushy animals when they eat. Your grandpaa’s dad also grew oats – which he used to grind into feed for his cows. Your grandpaa each evening dumped a small bucket of feed – the ground oats, in front of each cow’s stanchion. Your grandpaa also put a small cup of linseed meal on the top of each small pile of ground oats that he had dumped in front of each cow’s stanchion. Each cow knew which stanchion was her place to go to for her to be milked by your grandpaa’s dad. Your grandpaa’s dad or ma dumped a small bucket of feed in front of each cow’s stanchion each morning. The cows after they were milked – except during the winter, were let outside to graze in the pasture on your grandpaa’s dad’s farm. Your grandpaa’s dad also had an alfalfa field – from which he cut three cuttings of alfalfa each year. After your grandpaa’s dad baled the alfalfa or had the alfalfa baled, he stored the alfalfa bales in his barn’s haymow or in a stack near his barn. Your grandpaa’s dad fed his cows the baled alfalfa during the winter months. When your grandpaa thinks back on what life was like for him on the farm where he grew up as a kid, your grandpaa will always have memories of some really cold days – days when the temperature stayed below zero and snow was covering everything, when your grandpaa hauled straw bedding for the cows in a manure spreader from the haystack or the very hot days – days when the temperature was close to one hundred with no clouds in sight, when your grandpaa spent all day shocking oats. Your grandpaa is very grateful for all the experiences that he had growing up on a farm.
Your grandpaa has a lot of different memories from growing up on a farm. One memory is of gophers. Your grandpaa’s dad had three different kinds of gophers doing their thing on his farm. Gophers can be a real nuisance. Striped gophers are skinny, brownish gophers with a dark stripe down their back. Your grandpaa’s dad did not like striped gophers digging holes in his front lawn. When you grandpaa spotted a stripped gopher going down a hole, your grandpaa would pour water down the striped gopher’s hole until the striped gopher came out of another hole and . . . your grandpaa called pouring water down a striped gopher’s hole ‘drowning out a gopher’. Flicker tails are brownish gray gophers. Flicker tails are called flicker tails because they are always flicking their tails. Flicker tails like living in communities in pastures where they will dig a lot of holes. A cow can potentially break one of her legs if she accidentally stepped into a flicker tail hole. Your grandpaa would take a length of twine, make a small lasso at one end of the twine and then put the loop over the top of a flicker tail’s hole. Your grandpaa would – while holding unto the other end of the length of twine, lie down on his stomach on the ground about twenty feet away from a flicker tail’s hole. When the flicker tail came out . . . pocket gophers are dark gray gophers. Pocket gophers have cheek pockets. Pocket gophers spend most of their time underground. Pocket gophers push up the dirt from the tunnels that they make while digging for food that they have put into their cheek pockets into mounds on top of the ground. The mounds of dirt can be a real nuisance to a guy who is mowing alfalfa or a real eyesore in a freshly mowed lawn. Your grandpaa would dig under the freshest mound of dirt until he found where the pocket gopher’s tunnels crossed. Your grandpaa would then set a small steel trap where the pocket gopher’s tunnels crossed. Your grandpaa would then carefully cover the hole so that the pocket gopher would not see the trap so that . . .
Joshua set a trap to kill the 12,000 or so guys, gals and kids who were living in the town of Ai. Joshua used 20,000 guys from among God’s specially chosen guys and gals – the Israelite people groups guys and gals, to set the trap that killed every single guy, gal and kid who was living in the town of Ai. Joshua wrote down in Joshua 8 what he did to the town of Ai with his Israelite people group army. God told Joshua exactly what he was to and could do. Verse 2 says, “You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king, except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the city.”’ Joshua did not seem to have any trouble at all trapping and then killing every single guy, gal and kid who was living in the town of Ai – and then hanging the guy who was the town of Ai’s king. Your grandpaa knows that it was God’s plan – which He made before He created planet Earth, that when His specially chosen guys and gals went into the land area where their patriarch – who was Abraham, had lived in, that they were to kill all the guys, gals and kids who were living in the land area but . . .
Joshua 8 (677)