Old Man McDonald and His Farm

Old Man McDonald had a farm
and on that farm, sat a great big house where he lived with his wife,
her brother, seven children and his mother.
He hoped they would stay safe from harm. (storm)
Old Man McDonald had a farm with chickens, cows, and acres of corn.
It was once small but grew to more than 100 acres strong.
He hoped it would stay safe from harm. (locust)
There was a big red barn where a tractor was stored.
There was a second barn where his prize calves were born.
He sure was responsible for a lot,
He hoped it all would stay safe from harm. (thief)
Old Man McDonald had a farm.
And for a long, long time, it did stay safe from harm.


Autumn is the time when not just leaves but rain also falls.
It comes down on the cows,
It comes down on the chickens and the acres of corn.
Rain makes the crops grow big and the animals strong.
But it had been a long time since rain fell on the farm.
The stalks of corn didn’t grow very tall
In fact, they remained abnormally small.
There was no rain in the summer and no rain in the spring.
The farm started to look like a pitiful thing.
Old Man McDonald had a farm,
in a town going through a drought
that was doing great harm.


Old Man McDonald went to the bank for an emergency loan.
The bank had a program that the farm qualified for.
The program was designed
to help farmers get through the hard times.

He submitted all the paperwork and filled out all the forms.
He really needed this help for the farm to go on.
He applied and was denied. The help was denied.
He told them of the struggles his family had known
and of the late nights, the early morns.
He told them that his corn production was way, way down
and that if he didn’t get help,
he wouldn’t be able to feed the chickens and cows.
Old Man McDonald had a farm,
a drought and no loan.
His hope for no harm to his farm was almost gone.


How could this be that he could not get a loan
from a program that he certainly qualified for.
It must be a mistake or some cruel trick
this made absolutely no damn sense.
But it was no mistake and it wasn’t a trick
this is just how the bank treated a certain percent.
For a certain percent of farmers who are Black,
discrimination against them was a well-known fact.
And even though that type of discrimination is illegal
the system was designed to be slow
in enforcing laws that protect Black people.


Old Man McDonald had a farm
but now it’s gone
along with the chickens, cows, and acres of corn.
The big red barn where his tractor was stored
the second barn where his prize calf was born.
It once was very large but now is quite small.


He sold it off
so that his family could continue on.


Old Man McDonald had a farm
he sued the bank for discrimination
and although it was not easy
eventually
he won.

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