An old farmer I know has a son who went off to woodworking (I had to make this relatable to lumberjocks) college last year, and for the first time in his life, he found himself on his own to do the various farming tasks.
One of those duties that his son did, that he now inherited, was to care for an old horse that probably should have gone on the “last pasture” long ago but no one had the heart to lead it that way.
Well, over the winter, my farmer friend became quite attached to the old mare and when spring came and the windows on the barn were open on a regular basis, a barn swallow began roosting on the horses neck. (remember, this horse is old and not too mobile…also, I believe he actually liked the birds company)
The swallow eventually built a small nest in the horses mane and, as you may well imagine, made a real mess.
Old Sam (the farmer, not the horse…the horse’s name was Homer) did his best to discourage this, but the bird persisted. Sam tried some home remedies, things like mothballs (why, I don’t know…we’re talking a bird, not a moth) and kerosene, but nothing discouraged the swallow…it kept rebuilding the nest.
Sam finally thought to call his son (his name was Norman) to ask if he had ever had this problem. Norman said, “nearly every year”. Since Sam had paid little attention to this, it really surprised him. “So, what did you do? Did you just let it happen, or could you cure it?”
“Brewers yeast’ was Norm’s reply. “Go into the kitchen ad look in the pantry on the top shelf. There should be a package left. Mix it with a little water to form a past and rub it into the horses mane, and let me know how it works.”
Sam did as described and waited…and lo and behold (I’ve always wanted to use that phrase in a sentence) the bird left and did not return. Sam was delighted, because, as you might imagine, along with the nest, there was another considerable mess in the horses mane that was eliminated.
He called Norman back to ask how he (Norman) had known that yeast would get rid of the bird, and Norm said
“Oh, you know the old saying, dad, “Yeast is Yeast, and nest is nest, and never the mane shall tweet”.
(Remember what day it (still) is?
-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you