Haystacks and Scarecrows Made My Youth Worth Living

Halloween is just around the bend

In a few short weeks it will be Halloween. I am not going into the debate if Halloween is for the Devil or just an innocent holiday aimed at kids collecting candy in a national tradition called Trick or Treat. I do not have time to “open that can of worms,” when it is not necessary.

When I was a kid I dreamed of one day being able to play around (and inside) of a haystack. Not hay bales, but loosely-stacked hay somewhere in a barnyard where I wouldn’t be hurting anyone. Then my dream expanded to including a good old-fashioned scarecrow—homemade, not that perfect, and just right to be my buddy.

My dream is still alive

Those days never came. And now I am a man of 60, and I still have this childhood dream of allowing my imagination run wild and go where it will take me with my haystack and my scarecrow. You cannot beat these two traditional-items for passing the hours of a warm fall day when the leaves are turning colors and you have some time on your hands.

My scarecrow’s name would be “Max,” to honor my pet Siamese who was killed when I was 19. I do not know any names for haystacks. Sorry to everyone who love these items as much as I do.

Here, in honor of the fall season, and 10-year-old’s everywhere, here is my piece entitled:

Haystacks and Scarecrows Made My Life Worth Living

Faithful scarecrow
Faithful scarecrow
Wizard of Oz facsimile
Wizard of Oz facsimile
Haystacks
Haystacks
Delicious haystacks
Delicious haystacks
  1. Use the haystack as my haven to keep monsters from eating me alive. Did you not know that covers on a bed and inside a haystack are perfect for fending off horrible monsters?
  2. Taking a long nap inside my haystack. Take my word for it. I know naps. And inside a warm and quiet haystack is the perfect place for a nap. Now who would think of looking for me inside a haystack?
  3. Imagining that “Max,” is my bodyguard and positioning him beside my haystack that I imagine is a castle. Or . . .
  4. Imagining that “Max,” is a fire-breathing dragon about to attack my impenetrable haystack that is still my castle.
  5. Talking to someone passing by my haystack and watch the fear surface on their faces from not knowing where this voice is coming from.
  6. “Max,” could be my Marine drill instructor and he could train me to be a man who fears no man or beast.
  7. Inside a haystack is a perfect place to dine on coconut haystacks, a Christmas cookie treat. Of course I would share them with “Max,” who taught me the virtue of sharing.
  8. Oh, I guess if I were in a good mood, I would take whatever pet I had at this time into my “secret hideout,” my haystack to spend some time with “Max,” and myself.
  9. Read “Max,” my favorite poem, “The Raggedy Man,” by James Whitcomb Riley.

And if evening shadows catch me fast asleep, “Max,” would kindly take me to my house and lay me in mama’s sewing room so’s she won’t weep.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Raggedy_Man

Did haystacks and scarecrows remind you of your childhood?

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Stop. Look. Listen.

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Comments 22 comments

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 2 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

Hi there, Kenneth! Well, you never disappoint! This is a wonderfully imaginative and real story of childhood fantasy. Guess what!!? I DID get to play in haystacks and hay bales and all kinds of stuff like that! I lived out in the country and my best friends were two brothers who lived on a huge farm w/lots of acres and HAY!! We played all day in the hay, loose hay, baled hay, long tunnels made of hay bales, warm, crisp, sweet smelling straw hay..it was a childhood delight. We made forts and 'igloos' of hay....sneaking around at dusk, hiding from our parent. You hit the nail on the head, Kenneth; the lure and attraction of these naturally made material to construct a strong fort to ward off the adults (ugh!) and hide from the dog. Loved it then, sweet memories, now. Thank you for stirring up an old reverie!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Oh, thank you, Lucky Cats!

Where have you been for so long? This is scary, for last week YOU were on my mind. Thank you for reading what I know was my finest years on this earth. I sometimes look back to this time in my life and actually wonder if Heaven will be like this?

I want you to not stay away so long. Okay? I have missed you. Please have a safe week.


Samantha Sinclair profile image

Samantha Sinclair 2 years ago from North Carolina

Do you have grandkids? This sounds like an activity you can share with them... You could live out your dream and create awesome memories for the kids!


Samantha Sinclair profile image

Samantha Sinclair 2 years ago from North Carolina

Do you have grandkids? This sounds like an activity you can share with them... You could live out your dream and create awesome memories for the kids!


SandyMertens profile image

SandyMertens 2 years ago from Frozen Tundra

I have seen people with a piece of hay sticking out of their mouths but never thought about a cookie made of hay. I have to say that all of this about scarecrows and hay is interesting. Something you wrote about not hurting anyone as a kid is sticking with me. Hope everything is all good now.


sheilamyers 2 years ago

I can't say that haystacks remind me of my childhood because I raised in town and never really visited a farm back then. Instead of a haystack, we would rake all the leaves in a big pile and have a great old time. Scarecrows do remind me of childhood because I can remember those cardboard decorations with the little grommets at the joints the elementary teachers always hung up and, of course, almost every house in the neighborhood had scarecrow decorations around Halloween.


OhMe profile image

OhMe 2 years ago from Pendleton, SC

Oh what fond memories I have of building forts out of hay stacks and enjoying Scarecrows. Now, our town has a wonderfully creative Scarecrow Contest and it is absolutely amazing what some people come up with. Enjoyed this visit. Thank you.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

OhMe,

Thank you so very much for your sweet comment. Forts, ahhh yes. The Indians who attacked my forts and I let them escape since I did not have a gun. But that's fine. "Max," taught them that we were of peace, not war.

I appreciate YOUR visit and stay in touch.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear sheilamyers,

What a time you missed by not having haystacks. Just the aroma of freshly-cut hay is tough to beat.

Now you did have scarecrows. What would fall or Halloween be without a scarecrow. e.g. what would the Wizard of Oz be without the Scarecrow?

Thank you so much for your sweet words.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Samantha,

I love your name. It sounds much like a novelist' name. I am honest. Yes I have three grandkids--ages 13, 11 and 8 and all are into tablets, Iphones and gadgets. They have never been around either a haystack or scarecrow, so thank you for giving me a great idea of how I can relive my dream and let them carry-on my dream.

God bless you, Samantha and stay in touch.


Rhonda Lytle profile image

Rhonda Lytle 2 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

This was fun and showed so much imagination, really like being in the mind of a fun seeking boy. It brought smiles, whimsy and a dash of the wonder of youth. Nice!


sheilamyers 2 years ago

kenneth: I love the smell of fresh cut hay. One of the enjoyable things about driving the country backroads to get to work is I get to enjoy that smell every time the farmers are cutting.


grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 2 years ago from Philippines

You have quite imaginative ways of interacting with bales of hay. I enjoyed traversing with your imaginations on this piece. The poem of the Raggedy Man is also very nice.


vkwok profile image

vkwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

This article makes me wish I played in haystacks as a kid!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

vkwok,

Thanks, my friend. Your comment cheered me up.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Rhonda,

My appreciation to you for your comment. I am glad to get any comment due to the Yahoo Mail trouble I had last night, Oct. 1

I appreciate you "nailing" what I felt when I was young. Great call. Keep up the fine work.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Grand Old Lady (who is NOT old)

My sincere thanks to you for your sweet comment and for the comment on "Raggedy Man," which just happens to be MY favorite poem.

Wish I were as talented as Riley.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear sheilamyers,

Ahhh, the smell of new mown hay. What a great memory. Thanks for reminding me. I am very grateful to be blessed with so many followers with country connections. So . . .I am not alone. Thank God.


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 2 years ago

I was smiling through most of that Kenneth because I found it amusing to read. I am sorry about your pet Siamese but I liked the Hub very much. It got me thinking though, since I feed birds maybe there was/is a way to use one or more scarecrow(s) to keep squirrels and other pests from the feeders. I voted up, shared and pinned it. :-)

Kevin


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

The Examiner-1,

Thank you so much for taking time to read my childhood adventure. I am toying with another childhood dream, "Tarzan Did Not Live in Northwest Alabama," and when I get in the right frame of mind, I will tackle this task.

Thanks for the nice word about my Siamese. I miss him a lot, but my yellow tom, "Festus," a tabby, keeps me company these days.

That is a nice idea of putting scarecrows near your feeders.

Try it and hub it. Your Friend, Kenneth


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 2 years ago

I am glad that you got another cat Kenneth. Did you name it Festus to do with "The Adams Family", "Gunsmoke" or own reason?

I will write about it, if it works.

Your friend, Kevin


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Kevin,

Thanks for your kind comment about my "wing-cat," Festus. He is named after Ken Curtis, "Festus" on Gunsmoke. And ironically, he acts like this Festus character too---knows when to eat, nap, and stay scarce when work is being done.

I appreciate you and your commen so much.

Have a safe and happy night.

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