June 27, 2017



Haying season gets kind of hectic. First, you have to be smarter than the hay. You have to know when it is too wet. You have to know when it is too dry. You have to know when the leafy spurge is hiding in the alfalfa and grass so you can cut around it. You have to know where the hen pheasant has her nest or chicks hidden. It is important to keep them alive so someone else can kill them in the fall. I never have really figured that out.
In order to do all of these things right, you sometimes are forced to bale at night. You see, you make hay when the sun shines. At least you cut it. Then, in order to preserve all the leaves, when the moisture is just perfect, you bale it. Sometimes this occurs at midnight. Sometimes 2 a.m. Sometimes daylight. Sometimes there are only a few minutes where the hay is perfect.
So I bale when I want to bale. Not when the hay wants to be baled. A lot of people don’t like my hay.
But that brings me to today’s lesson. About my make believe friend, Shannon.
Shannon is a cattle buyer. He has a knack for picking up odds and ends at a livestock auction and turning a quick profit.
He can recognize that a calf with pinkeye can be healed up in three days with a shot in the eyelid. Or a spray on the eye. He can tell if a lame yearling has an early case of foot rot, or if it is a permanent injury. He can tell if a dry cow is bred, or just full of water and hay. He has become filthy rich. And he guards his money with a vengeance.
He has a make believe friend we will call Melvin. They often conspire with each other on moneymaking schemes.
There was an auction sale during haying season. This auction sale had several 4-wheelers on the listing. Now, these men are shrewd. They could see that the number of 4-wheelers could easily exceed the number of buyers. Especially since it was haying season, which, coincidentally, coincides with fishing season for non-farmers.
Melvin was haying, so he asked Shannon to attend the sale in case he could pick up a cheap reliable 4-wheeler to use on his make believe ranch.
Shannon picked out a good one. It was pretty much cherry. Started right up. The brakes were good. Shifted smoothly. Steering was tight. The previous owner evidently took good care of it.
Shannon pretty much stole it for $925! Really! $925!
But this created a problem. You see, he had bought it for his make believe friend Melvin. But now, Shannon started to become attached to this new purchase. So he decided to keep it. Sometimes loyalty can be exaggerated.
So Shannon took the 4-wheeler home and parked it in his yard. Oh, he was proud.
That morning, now this is where the haying comes in, he woke early and felt the moisture in the air. The hay would be perfect. But to get to his baler he had to move his cutter.
He jumped on the cutter, still rubbing the sleep from his eyes. He started to back up and the cutter kind of stopped. I mean it pretty much ground to a halt. Why, it had been working just fine. He cussed it.
He grabbed that lever and rocked it back and forth. Then gave it the throttle and reared back on that reverse lever. It screamed and lurched backwards.
Right over the top of his now overpriced 4-wheeler.
I hate it when that happens.