Farmers and What They Have Been Saying Behind Our Backs
This Non-Threatening Introduction
to this piece is really a light drama. The topic deals with one thing: a hard-working, American farmer who gets up at daylight and works until dark sometimes six days a week. And do not listen to folks who have never plowed one row or planted one seed who will or have tell you (with a serious look) that farming is not that hard. Hogwash.
Any farmer worth his sod knows the truth. No, farming is not a walk in the park. I know. I came from a sharecropper's dad. Many is the day that I would try to keep up with every step he made when plowing our mule and when he went to a tractor for farming, I tried to just ride on the tractor and when it arrived, I helped unload whatever crop that he happened to be harvesting.
But Looking Back
from those early days of our sharecropping life, I honestly didn't know any better from knowing which life was better or worse. Was American progress a better choice? Or was "our" way of sharecropping the best way to go? I was just glad that God stayed close to me in both lives.
Imagine that for a few minutes, we are going to listen to any U.S. farmer, "Mr. Farmer," wel'll call him and know what this hard-working farmer is saying during his tasks that range from plowing to harvesting his crops.
"Is this contraption (a tractor) really going to increase my harvest ratio?"
"How many zero's in that bill for my tractor?"
"Is there a doctor who works part-time with your tractor dealership?"
"You want this purchase in cash?"
"Oh, yeah. The tractor doesn't eat like my old mule at day's end."
"Mr. Farmer's" Actual Comments When he is Working:
"And so now I roll on in my fields, but this new tractor doesn't make my day any cooler."
"Dagnab it! "Nelldie" didn't make me a fruitjar of water to bring out here."
"Oh, I forgot about them dadgum gnats! Get outta here 'afore I get ya'!"
"Well, I will say that my tractor didn't take me hours to plow this one row."
"What's that? Steam coming out from under my tractor hood!"
"How much does a new fanbelt cost? And you expect me to drive over 200 miles to give you $35.00 for one dadgum fanbelt--and you never said anything about this tractor having a warranty! I have a good mind to set a match to this thing."
"Why is "Nelldie" waving at me? Now I got to stop, kill the engine and see what she is yelling."
"Nelldie! What? Time for dinner!? Now? I just got in this field. I had to drive back that 200-mile trip back to the tractor dealership to fork out that $35.00 fanbelt and that dadgum liar-of-a-salesman didn't throw in a warranty either!"
"Pinto beans again? "Nelldie," don't you have any meat left in the refrigerator?"
"Going on 1:30 "Nelldie" see you at dark. Dadgum tractor! I'm a good mind to get out "Ol' Jack" our mule. At least he don't have no fanbelts."
"Yeah, "Nelldie," your brother, "Zeke," was the slick that talked me into going to the bank to borrow money to buy that consarn tractor."
"Where is that "Zeke" anyway--in jail somewhere?"
"Hey, what did that salesman tell me that this here lever was for?"
"Now look! I ain't gonna plow no 60 miles an hour! You either slow down or I'll get "Ol' Jack," I promise you."
"Who's that gomer walking out the field? He don't look like our preacher."
"No, sir. I ain't about to buy anymore funeral plots. Now git!"
"3:30 already and I ain't got over half these 15 acres plowed. Dadgum that fanbelt."
Now Let's Hear What "Nelldie," "Mr. Farmer's" Wife is Saying About The Tractor Before "Mr. Farmer" Quits For The Day":
"You know something. I told him about listening to that looney brother of mine, but "Mr. Farmer" is so hard headed you know."
"I can hear him cursing even over the sound of that tractor engine. "Ol' Jack" never caused my husband to curse."
"I will try to fix him a real banquet for supper when "Mr. Farmer" gets home tonight."
"Oh, Lordy be! I found another picnic ham way back in that freezer!"
Now Back to The Conclusion of our Conversation With "Mr. Farmer":
"I never had such pains in my feet. These pedals on this tractor has mixed me up a sight."
"My back is not feeling good at all. Why didn't that dadgum tractor salesman throw in me a cushion for my back on this thing?"
"Two more rows and then I'm quitting for the day. Can't wait to eat supper. And what do you know, no white smoke boiling from under my tractor hood."
"Oh, no! What's that sound? Oh, dadgum you tractor! The gas gauge says "E"and that means I gotta walk to the house a good five miles to eat!"
"In the morning, "Ol' Jack" and me are gonna do us some real plowing and with none of that dadgum foolishness."
Good night, Red Bay, Alabama.
© 2017 Kenneth Avery