AN OLD TIMER BITES THE DUST!
By Norris Chambers
I used Min and Stranger when plowing with any riding implement such as a planter, cultivator or middle buster. These riding tools positioned the rider closely behind the horses. It was common practice for the operator to carry a thin switch and use it to keep both horses pulling at the same rate. Old Stranger was willing but his natural gate was a little slower than Min’s and for me to keep him moving at Min’s rate required my constant attention. When Stranger fell behind and Min moved ahead it placed the heavier pulling on Min. She was soon sweating and Stranger was walking along in his furrow, reaching over occasionally for a big bite of the adjacent row of animal goodies.
This condition meant that it was time to start punching Stranger with the long switch. This caused the slower horse to jump forward, leaving the faster one to lag for an instant. Of course Min jumped forward when she was left behind and Stranger fell behind as usual.
obvious that a problem of this magnitude would require
I attached a stick with a sharpened tip to the tall upright lever and adjusted its length to punch Stranger if he lagged behind the equal load position on his side of the implement tongue.
I climbed into the cultivator seat and let the team know that it was time to go to work. They responded willingly and we started down the row.
slowed to his regular position, about a foot behind Min. Our stick did its part
and painfully reminded him that he was lagging behind again. He jumped forward
for a moment’s relief and made Min aware that the contents of the right lane
had suddenly enlarged and it was time for her to assume her lead position. As
she walked ahead of Stranger he was stabbed by the protruding puncher and
quickly moved forward. It looked like our plan was beginning to operate
could answer the jumping race gathered speed and we were running through the
peanut field, throwing peanut plants in every direction. Our team was gathering
speed with every jab and the old cultivator was shaking and rattling worse than
a threshing machine in a hailstorm. I reached to turn the seat release but it
released itself before I could find it. I was lying in the sand watching the
team and plow disappear in the direction of the barn.
I looked, but I knew it wouldn’t be good when I tried to explain what happened to Papa.
any fun involved in this tragedy?