It seems my novelist skills were well received. Some of the Facebook group have encouraged me to create further content of this manner. I will continue to stay within the parameters of my blog main topics though.
Strangeness in the South 40 Continues.
I didn’t tell anybody about my encounter when I got to the barn lot. Who would believe me anyway! I had been there and was still processing the event. Had it been nothing but my imagination? The rock thrown, hitting my plow shear, had left a chalk like mark though.
I didn’t get harassed about coming in with darkness quickly falling. The old reliable M didn’t have the best lighting, which made it hard to see at night. The bitter chill was overtaking any warmth found as the sunlight had retreated. It was time to call it a day anyway.
I did overhear a mumbled comment about pushing the old tractor to fast. My racing and bumping, creating a clatter, was unusual. Vintage and antique equipment were treated with great respect on this farm.
I had great trepidation, realizing I had to go back and finish plowing the south 40. The duties still needed completion regardless of my attitude. The next morning, I swallowed as much of my fear as I could, and headed back to the field.
The morning went by with no incident. It was slightly warmer as the sun rose higher in the pale sky. My eyes were constantly scanning all the scenery and my head was constantly swiveling in every direction possible. I was seeking any abnormalities hiding in the darker forrest. It was difficult to stay focused on the task at hand. The electric adrenaline feeling had returned, I sensed I was being watched again.
My nose soon alerted me to an offensive smell. It was stronger when I neared the tree line. The pungent odor of wet, rank dirty dog combined with the smell of dead animal attacked my sinus. A skunk would have smelled more pleasant!
I had planned the plowing so that I had worked my way out to the edge from the middle. Each pass drew me closer to the trees. I dreaded my actions after last night’s bizarre occurence. The tree line felt as if it was closing in, making it easier for the villianice specters to reach out and grab me off the operator’s seat. My imagination had gone into overdrive.
Fortunately, the cornstalks weren’t hampering the plow. I wasn’t real comfortable with the idea of stopping to clean out a plug anyway. I felt vulnerable enough slowly moving in the open. This was one of the very few times I would have rather dealt with the noisy confinement of a cab. There probably wouldn’t have been any more safety in a enclosed area. That was nothing more than an idea of false sense of security.
A rock zipped past my ear with fierce intensity. The projectile had been close enough I felt it brush the side of my head. One inch closer and I would have been struck in the eye. My immediate reaction was to mash the clutch pedal bringing the unit to an abrupt halt. Angrily, I looked all around, but observed nothing out of the ordinary. Now it wasn’t the reaction of fear, I was mad!
After calming myself, I assessed the situation with more reason. The only place of concealment the rock could come from was still a good distance. Whoever, or whatever, made that pitch had more power and accuracy than a major league pitcher. Intelligence to know vulnerable points was also demonstrated. This knowledge was rather disturbing.
I heard the sound of another tractor in the distance. The volume was increasing. I observed another plow unit head to the field. I sat back down and eased out the clutch, the old M started forward with a slight strain. I had my doubts, but maybe I’d be safer with the increase in numbers.
The plowing force soon increased again. Shortly there were three tractor and plows working in unison. A three bottom plow pulled by another M and an old John Deere fell into the work. The old A’s distinctive chugging sound overtook most of the created human noise pollution.
The electric feeling, of adrenaline, faded in short time. I started to get more comfortable now that there was companionship. It never occurred to me the unpleasant odor still lingered until I observed one of the other operators sniffing the air. He gave me a puzzled look, pinched his nose and shrugged, indicating he found the smell strange and offensive. He asked me later, when we had stopped, if I had hit a skunk.