The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Wisdom Of Barnyard Bruke: "Grooming The Great Iron Beast"

Greetings to readers of The Quill,

Some of you'ns have reminded me you are free of the flu bug (norovirus) but has caught a bad case of the "jitter bugs".

City folk wonder why the farmer has got worries about field work, but "only th' spoon that stirs the pot knows its troubles." (only the ones involved know the problems.)

Cornelius tells of his neighbor, Bill, who was grooming his great iron beasts since February. Bill had himself a heated shop, from used motor oil the season before.

Bill felt $6 a bushel corn happens "onc't inna blue moon" (very rarely), and he was not going to miss a beat in gettn' the crop in early to help assure a good yield .

Those are braggn' rights, don't ya know. He had spent the later part of the winter fixn' on the tractors, planter, field cultivator and disc.

Office work allowed him to have all arrangements made for seed, fertilizer, chemicals, insurance, and FSA office work.

Cheaper fuel was all lined up earlier in the winter for spring work. His computer was filled with pertinent farm information, and his calloused hands had the look of hours of work with the grease gun, wrench, and maintenance work on machinery. He even had sold some new crop corn ahead.

Well, last Monday, the 21st, was the culmination of all his efforts. By his estimation his field was adequately drained, sun was a shinin' and a nice wind a blown'. Ole Bill knew it was time to get to the field. With the luck of men that farm, he had missed the rain a few days earlier. Bill figured whilst his neighbors were "suckin' eggs" (hesitating) he would show them how he "was really work brittle" (willing to work hard).

Bill knew "you cain't be in six places with one behind," (you can't do it all yourself). He arranged for his retired neighbor, Jimmy Bob, to help carry him to victory over neighbors and elements.

With a line of iron made up for work, he set his neighbor high in the cab of steel, and listened contently as Jimmy Bob pulled back on the throttle and with a puff of smoke, clanked off on the fiery steed.

As Jimmy Bob gathered speed into the murky dust, Bill set to gettn' the planter ready.

With clouds gathern' in the west, Bill was "burnin' his bridges behind him" (made his decision to plant that day and stickin' to it).

He filled the planter boxes, double checked his population settings, and headed to the field with Jimmy Bob well ahead of him in field cultivating.

Winter months had allowed Bill to put several new gadgets on his planter for better setting of depth and population. Forty feet down the field, Bill got off his great machine, and pointed his rump to the sky-diggin' like a barnyard dog into a rats nest, all the while, checkin' on seed count and depth.

Sometimes it felt like "lookin' fer a needle inna' hay stack" as hard as it were to find some of them hidden seeds. All looked well, as far as planter performance, and ole Bill figured he "wuz within a shout a' bein' home" (he was close to gettin' way ahead of his neighbors and a good start on big yields.)

Just as he climbed back on his readied machine, slapped it into gear, and began to pull the throttle into position, he noticed a loud noise and a drip of water on its windshield. Another loud clap and flash of lightening let him know whilst he was busyin' himself with the planter and diggin' for results, a storm had snuck up on "em. It chased both Bill and Jimmy Bob back to the shop with their machinery snorten and their tails betwixt their legs.

Now, "that ain't the whole piece of cloth" (not the complete story) on ole bill. But, as you would know, he ain't ahead of his neighbors, even today, as it has rained ever since. Bill's neighbors, being the good sort that they are, reminded him of water standing in the middle of the field he was about to start plantin' and that "when a feller's head swells up, his brain stops workin'" (feeling of self-importance will cloud one's thinkin').

Well, "live an' learn" Bills says, but he is waitin' on another "one day dry spell," to give it another lick. He figures, come the middle of May, his neighbors will wish for the opportunity he was granted last Monday.

See ya later, and make it a safe spring.

Barnyard Bruke