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Farmers and What They Have Been Saying Behind Our Backs

Updated on May 29, 2017
kenneth avery profile image

Kenneth has been a member of HubPages for five years. He is retired from a 23-year career in the weekly newspaper business.

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.

A vintage American farmer.
A vintage American farmer. | Source
A version of the early modern tractor.
A version of the early modern tractor. | Source
1944 John Deere tractor ad.
1944 John Deere tractor ad. | Source
A farmer doing manual labor  spreading seed.
A farmer doing manual labor spreading seed. | Source
Worn out tractor used by  a busy farmer.
Worn out tractor used by a busy farmer. | Source
A first look at the modern tractor.
A first look at the modern tractor. | Source
The tractor begins to evolve into a smoother-running, more-powerful machine.
The tractor begins to evolve into a smoother-running, more-powerful machine. | Source
American farm girl ad.
American farm girl ad. | Source
A tired farmer looks over his fields at day's end.
A tired farmer looks over his fields at day's end. | Source

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.

Plowing in the early days of farming in America.
Plowing in the early days of farming in America. | Source

© 2017 Kenneth Avery


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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 8 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Comments that have such a start such as what you shared about Jude would make an excellent story by YOU if you would only write it. I know that you are more than able, so at least give it some thought.

      Fact is, I love mules.

      Thanks for such sweet friendship as you and your writings.

      Write me anytime.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 8 months ago

      Thanks, dear Kenneth. Ole Jude was still around when I was small and Grandma was in her late 60s. I remember her still plowing with Jude before her arthritis got too bad. I followed along the rows behind them.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 8 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Wow, dear friend. Thanks so much for your lively comment.

      And I LOVED the part about Jude, the mule. Great stuff.

      And also great stuff about your grandparents.

      Even I couldn't make up great stuff like this.

      Thank you for stopping by and write me anytime.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 9 months ago

      OMG, Kenneth, that is so funny, and so true, except that my grandparents didn't own a tractor. Grandma did most of the plowing with her old mule, Jude. My grandparents had a small farm, about 80 acres, in the Ozark Mountains, and Grandma and "her boys" did most of the farming while Grandpa managed some large farms for one of the rich city landowners in town. Grandpa was known to be the best farm manager in the county. One of my uncles bought the first tractor in the family, and I'll bet Ole Jude was brought up a lot around their house. Great hub, I'm still laughing.