Content Tools

Mount Union, Iowa 52644.

In mid-August time when the Sun raises red in the morning sky
And the dew hasn't fallen and the grass is dry,
And the wind is gentle and low
 Away to threshing I like to go.

With breakfast hurried down and the milking done
A long hard day is soon begun.
Away in the truck with the gas and grease I go
While the bundle teams follow sure and slow.

The old machine stands silent and grey with dust
And if I'm to be ready, then hurry I must.
I open the galvanized, giant blower door
Fling out the short belts lean low in the long slick cavern for more,
With a tug and a twist I roll them on soon
While roving eye estimates we will finish this field by noon.

My trusty old engine stands silently coupled ahead,
To the wide sturdy truck's oak tongue faded and red.
I pour in some gas and check the oil Snap down the impulse so it will recoil.
Pull up on the crank and out on the choke
She fires irregular and sends up blue smoke.
I turn down the gas and advance the spark
She steadies her voice and hums like a lark.

I climb on and set to the south and a trifle west
To make a good straw-pile I'll do my best.
Pull the pin and roll out the long drive belt, kinkey and black
Slip on with a twist and tighten the slack.
Swing around and run out the blower.
Next comes the grain spout and feeder to lower.

I let in the clutch and the great, toothed cylinder slowly turns
And the bright shiny band knives clatters and churns.
The tall, swaying bundle load drives creaking slowly in
I pull back the throttle and the bundles fall on the feeders bright tin.
They quickly disappear in her hungry dark maw
And quickly puff forth from the long, hooded blower in bright amber straw.
And from out the long shining grain spout
The good brown wheat comes spiraling out.

With grease-gun and oil can atop her dusty and vibrant back I stand
I annoint Her freely and survey the land.
High in the morning sky a bright red plane goes speeding by
And the wild hawks circle, float and hover
While far below the field mice run for cover.
Along the highway the traffic scuttles up and down
And the great blue Bus rolls stately into town.

The good tall loads keep driving in
Across the rough stubble in super low a crawling to the bin.
The Sun climbs high and the heat waves dance
The straw-pile grows, glitters and giants.
The water bag goes flat and nearly dry
 And home for dinner we go on high.

Outside on the kitchen's shady side we wash and comb
Both thick, young thatch and thin, bald dome.
And through the kitchen's busy, clattering din
To the bounteous table we go filing in.

Great white mountains of mashed potatoes and dark brown beef we devour
Ah! Me--that wonderful, gastronomical hour.
The white mountains fade away and brown rivers of gravy soon run dry
The strong, black coffee again appears and we taper off on cherry pie.

With water bags and stomachs both distended and full
Again for the field we do pull.
I gas and grease up and again She blows forth
It's hot and oppressive and storm banks-brew far back in the North.
We give Her the 'works' all afternoon long
And the busy old cylinder booms her song.

In mid-afternoon comes a pause in this clattering din
For across the dusty, rough stubble the lunch car bounces in.
Come and get it!--they shout
And again we grab in without fear of the gout.
Thick sandwiches sometimes round and sometimes square Thick wedges of cake, a peach or a plum, or sometimes a pear.
And the faithful old dog drolls and begs.
While the bundle teams doze in the sun on three legs.

With grease-gun again I hastily punch each fitting and zerk
Then let in the clutch and the men climb back to work.
The hot Sun cools and hangs low
 And the last man pulls in wary and slow.
 We clean up and pull out to the East
 We are weary and tired to say the least.
 The storm has gone to the West
And if it should pass again tomorrow,
we will thresh at our best.

J. A. Dickson Stickney, South Dakota 57375.