June 1, 2010

Horse Power

Every once in a while an old horse shoe will show up in the fields; sometimes even an oxen shoe, which proves that tractors weren't the first beats to roam the land. Something has to till up the ground and chew on rocks. Every year, the herd of tractors on Windflower seems to have multiplied. We have a couple Kabotas and Internationals, so it can get confusing to just spout the name on the paint job.
The thoroughbred of tractors is the Kabota. We all want to drive her. In the morning, we race to saddle her up for whatever task we've been assigned to.

The International. What a bronco. Imagine a small-built girl trying to control a beast that barely lets her get her feet down to the pedals, and the pedals are just the brakes and clutch not forward or reverse.
Daren has become the rider of the very old, grey mare called a FarmAll. She mostly hears what you want her to do and has something virtually non-existent: a choke. I still don't quite understand the concept of a choke, but it seems like a carrot or sugar cube that gets her started. My goal is to learn to drive her, but she doesn't have power steering, so the men are reluctant. I wonder how many of them know that my first car-a 1986 Chevy Chevette had no power steering either. Would they rather have me driving on the street or in a field of grass?The largest and most scary beast of the fields is Ted's new tractor. I don't know what it is, but it's green and big. John Deer? Jake the Elder has become its handler during our four-person planting days. We have great respect for him, because the poor man had four backseat drivers . . . all girls. Stop. Go. More water. Left. Right. Slower. Faster.

This is Ted's ride. The Ox, I suppose. It moves dirt, mows paths and fields, and all that good stuff.

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