Station: [3] Threshing Floor with Storage Spaces

Hey! You! Yes, you there! Have you seen the moggy? Didn’t he just pass through here? You've got to watch out for him, I can tell you! Markersdorf hasn't seen a better mouser in living memory.

Alas – since he arrived here, times have been tough for us mice.

Even here, on the threshing floor, we’re risking our lives! And yet – take a look around – a barn like this one should be paradise on earth for mouse-kind!

Top left, on the built-in shelving, stacks of delicious sheaves of wheat or rye. And in winter, when the grain is threshed right here on the timber floor, the kernels just whizz about in all directions. All you have to do is open your mouth and with a bit of luck – hey presto! – the next meal flies right down your gullet.

In the past, the farmer's family, the maid and the farmhand all stood here, wielding flails and threshing the grain. But at some point, they installed an automatic threshing machine -- out in the yard, at first. The ox was harnessed to the horse-gin – that’s what they called the long lever – and it drove the machine. And no sooner had the farm been connected to the power grid, than they used electricity to run the threshing machine. That made for one happy ox!

Between the harvest and the threshing, the sheaves – in other words, the bundles of cut stalks of grain – are stored here, behind the partition wall ... in what’s known as the "Bansen" – the storage compartment. And believe me, in autumn, when that compartment is chock-full of scrumptious ears of grain, my brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and first cousins and second cousins and third cousins – anyway, all of us are beside ourselves with excitement – because then it's gobble, gobble, munch, munch … until the tomcat comes a-calling. 

Erm – you called?

Yikes! It’s the mog! Run for your lives!

Was that a cheeky mouse, muscling in on my tour? Wait till I get my claws into you!

Now, where were we? Oh yes, at the Bansen, you know, the storage compartment here in the barn. Well, nowadays it serves as a display area for all kinds of farming equipment: ploughs, harrows, various utensils you need if you’re growing potatoes: potato baskets, a potato washer, potato sorting machines...

The Kliemts – this is just between you and me, you understand – weren’t especially wealthy farmers. Mind you, they just about managed to live off the yield from their fields and animals... their livestock. Here, have a look, I can show you a photograph. There’s the farm’s last owner, Erhard Kliemt, his sister Linda, and the maid, Charlotte Tzschoppe, at the sorting machine with a whole cart full of potatoes. That was out in the farmyard, right in front of the barn.

That was... give me a moment ... well, it’s got to have been several decades ago. Meow!

All depictions: © Schlesisch-Oberlausitzer Museumsverbund gGmbH