By Orv Alveshere
FALLING BEHIND IN HAY WORK
Gramps said decades ago, horse-drawn hay rakes gave drivers a horse-tail view.
A 1 person job. When using tractors, it formed a 2-person crew.
Raising enough hay for all of his livestock each year was a hardship,
Relying on rain. The tractor driver would start her apprenticeship.
Gramps sawed off the long horse-pole, hitched the tractor to the hay rake that day.
He showed his recent bride how to drive and clutch and shirt to rake the hay.
She followed the last windrow and gave the steering wheel a steady grip.
Around the hayfield, a smiling young lady drove her first tractor trip.
APPRENTICESHIP? BRINKMANSHIP? REDEFINING ONE-UPMANSHIP
Cutting and hauling cattle feed was uppermost in that rancher’s mind.
‘Making hay while the sun shines’ was the motto of ag men, so inclined,
Bouncing along on primitive hay rakes, keeping a stiff upper lip.
There was an upright rake handle. That’s the only thing he had to grip.
You bet the 5-foot steel wheels had no give, just rattle and roll and shake.
Inner wheels had notches to lift the curved raking teeth of the hay rake.
The foot-lever engaged the notch, causing the teeth to lift and to trip.
Leaving collected hay in bunches, leaving hands free … horse reins to grip.
MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY A CLICHE? HEAD OVER HEELS
The smiling groom rode the hay rake, bunching drying hay into windows.
Gramps instructed with pantomime, or hand signals, while on the go;
Coached his brinde to throttle-down at the gully, at the lowest dip.
The result of his ‘partial guidance would turn out like a comic strip.
Her tractor slowly eased over the BUMP. Forgetting about the hay rake
She throttled-up. THe increased speed caused a sudden jolting hay rake shake!
The giant steel wheels of that ancient hay rake B-U-M-P-E-D due to the fast clip.
Our haymaker did an ‘airborne somersault’ … literally a ‘back-flip’!
HAYRAKING PLAN OVERTURNED/DID HE JUMP SHIP?
New brides shouldn’t dump her hubby. Rephrasing: dump off the rake.
Ranch work would become a ‘pain-in-the-neck’ approximately, with a backache.
Much to his dismay he did some sort of a ‘ballet’ while raking hay.
Flailing to find the clutch to stop that rig, caused vignettes of disarray.
Our rancher literally HIT THE HAY! That mistake caused a headache.
Consolation from his bride was negligible, at best, for pity’s sake.
What young gramps bellowed that day surely requires censorship.
Pity the AIRBORNE hay rake rider. He literally lost his grip.
CASTAWAY DID A SUMMER SOMERSAULT
Pity him, painfully rolling over in the clover. Pardon the quip …
Getting the HEAVE-HO was a tough break. He buttoned his lip about the BACKFLIP!
Copyright 2007 – Photograph by Orv Alveshere of his daughter on “Ye Olde Hay Rake.”
Orv Alveshere, an award-winning writer of humorous cowboy poetry and stories, “grew up hanging on a horse.” He writes about his lifetime of adventures.