This post entitled Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Hey!What’re You Doing to My Tractor? is the third most viewed post at the Ranch Pen and has made it into the top five thrice in the past four years. (Since reading a book entitled The Adventure of English-The Biography of a Language by Melvyn Bragg, I–and anyone who would feel compelled to mess with Mr. Longfellow’s poetry–feel that “thrice” is a more interesting choice than “three times”.)
Anyway, I have no idea why the post garners its views, but the pictures are hysterically funny (unless any of those machines belong to you, in which case, you are still real mad) and the snatch of original Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poetry is very fine. Without further ado, here’s the old cream-puff.
I’ve recycled the following pictures from an email–an oldie, but a goodie–that circulated amongst us ranchers and farmers a year or two ago. We all chuckled. And winced. And remembered when one of the kids, or the ex hired man, or even–goodness sakes–the owner/operator buried the tractor.
For those of you who drive around on paved streets and highways, I’ll attempt to explain the wrecks below.
1. Instead of The Wreck of the Hesperus memorialized by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, we’ll call this wreck The Wreck of the Old Case International Combine. The conversation between the old sailor in Mr. Longfellow’s poem and the skipper–just berfore he wrecked the Hesperus– went like this:
The skipper he stood beside the helm,His pipe was in his mouth,And he watched how the veering flaw did blowThe smoke now West, now South.Then up and spake an old Sailòr,Had sailed to the Spanish Main,“I pray thee, put into yonder port,For I fear a hurricane.“Last night, the moon had a golden ring,And to-night no moon we see!”The skipper, he blew a whiff from his pipe,And a scornful laugh laughed he.”Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (And if you can believe Wikipedia, his granddad’s name was Peleg Wadsworth. Why don’t we ever hear cool Bible names like that anymore?)
“The kid sat high within the cab,his earbud in one ear,and he took the call from his old man,and never missed a gear.Then up and spake said old man,who’d drove that road before,Don’t go that way, son, he said,for I fear the road is sloughin’ off ’round that tin horn in the wash ’cause the county’s too cheap to pay for a longer piece of culvert.The kid pocketed his smart phone,a scornful laugh laughed he,For he would show his old dad,a real combine man he’d see…”
2. This wreck we’ll call Some Dumb Guys With Tractors. The farm wife is taking the picture for future evidence. She is saying, “Seriously? I can understand one tractor, but three? And now the trackhoe, too? But, hee hee. This picture is going to get me that new saddle. And maybe a new riding lawn mower, too.”
3. This wreck we’ll just call, Hired Man As Soon As They Get The Juice Shut Off To Those Wires And I Get My Hands On You, You Are Dead.
4. This one we’ll call, How Many Times Do I Have To Tell You To Pick Up The Bucket Before You Let Out The Clutch?
5. This one we’ll call, Don’t Text And Drive, Goober!
6. Should we call this one, Wife Buries the Hatchet With the Handle Stickin’ Out But Husband Buries the Trackhoe With the Bucket Stickin’ Out…or what? I’m at a loss here.
7. And this one…my goodness. Don’t Ever Hire Somebody to Harvest Your Corn Who Huffs Hairspray While Smoking ?
(It appears both the back and front windows have blown out, allowing the corn in the grain tank to spill through the cab and onto the platform.)
8. Ah, and lastly, a Steiger tractor wreck. I’m very qualified to comment since I’ve had many adventures in an old Steiger tractor. (But not this one, I pomise.) The scene could have gone like this:
“Whoa.” Me stomping on the clutch and brake.
“Whoa, now.” Jamming on every lever in the cab with hands and feet. Starting to sweat profusely. “Oh, Lord…I said whoa, now!”
Two sets of back duals hit the grain bin and start to climb. “LORD HAVE MERCY, WHOA!”
Using both my boots, I finally shove the gear lever out of reverse. Tractor lurches forward, slamming nose into gravel. Motor dies. I slump over steering wheel, shaking. Sitting at odd angle. Sneak peek over shoulder.
This is not my fault. I told him to fix the brakes.
So What Do Y’all Think?
- Is Henry Wadsworth Longfellow one of the best American Poets ever?
- Do you have an explanation for number 6?
- Should Gramps have fixed the brakes like I told him to, and why didn’t I name one of my boys Peleg?
As always, thanks so much for reading. Until next time, God bless all y’all and enjoy The Gardiner Sisters with one of my all time favorite carols, Angels We Have Heard on High.