Station: [14] Rope-Making / Broom-Making Workshop

Hup – huppity, hup – yes, I have to work out every day and always stay in shape, so the cat doesn’t catch me. Welcome to my gym! This place is actually where they make the ropes farmers need for their work: to bind the sheaves in the fields, to secure their animals, or even as a washing line. But before the humans take the ropes away, my friends and I get to use them as skipping ropes.

Hoppety, hoppety, hop - hop - hop...

Whew, that’s pretty exhausting!

The ropes, by the way, are made from flax or other plants that grow here on the farm. The humans break and comb the fibres until they’re nice and supple and yet resistant to tearing. And then they use this machine to twist the fibres together. It’s all very simple. Thick ropes, thin ropes, long ropes, short ropes – it all depends on what they need at the moment.

... Or rather: what they’re going to need the following year. Because these are jobs the humans do in winter, when there's not much work out in the fields. Then they carve and turn and twine and build and repair, so that by spring, everything is ready to start over. In the little room behind the rope-making machine, you can see some other things the humans do in winter. They weave baskets or turn curtain rods, repair barrels and ladders ... or tie big bundles of thin twigs together to make brooms. Then they can use those to sweep the yard ... or come after us mice! Help! Run for your lives!

All depictions: © Schlesisch-Oberlausitzer Museumsverbund gGmbH