Route 3, Muncy, Pennsylvania
As I had promised in ray recent article in the Album to write another article of some of the amusing incidents of my threshing days of the past - and from the requests from many who answered my letter -here goes with a few of them for others to compete with.
This article contains no great tales of how much we did or how fast we threshed - nothing but the comedy of day-to-day fun that can come where men get together on a job and everything goes along well. One thing I must say is we were well blessed with good hands and helpers and this in turn helped bring about many lively times when we least looked for it.
I'll start out with the first incident that happened a year or more before we bought the tractor outfit. We then had a small portable rig consisting of a six horse power Van Duzen gasoline engine and a small separator that was moved with teams. We moved the engine and the farmer moved the thresher to the next job.
One of our customers, a small job farmer living along the banks of the Susquehanna River, had no barn -just a small stable for his horses and cow. His crops were stored under pole-sheds and stacks well-covered.
We had a small team of horses, Bird and Dick, part broncho, half brother and sister, and only three days difference in their ages. They were fat, slick, and very gentle and chummy, but with all this there were times they could be real heathens. Here at this place there was no place for them to be stabled, so the farmer pushed his farm wagon into the dirty barnyard under a shade tree - and with a big armful of hay, and one tied on each side of the wagon, we left them to their pleasures.
At noon when we came to feed them the hay was all gone and they had rolled in the barnyard soup and were plastered from ears to heels completely -and Bird had chewed a big half moon out of the upright dashboard on her side.
We took them down in the river and dashed warm river water on them, much to their delight, and cleaned them up, and as we were bringing them up, and as we were bringing them back up my brother insisted on changing them around side for side. When we finally came to get them to move they were again plastered -and Bird had trimmed the dashboard on that side to perfectly match the other side.
The farmer didn't look very well pleased, but there was nothing he could say as it was the best he could put up on such a case. Several weeks later I happened to see him in town with team and wagon and he had a brand new, unpainted, white pine dashboard on - ready for the next attack if it ever came.
When we finally bought the tractor outfit these little heathens were given turns week about going along with the rig as the buggy horse, and did they love and worship that outfit!
Either one would trail along untied behind the separator for miles and never stray away. When we came to a steep grade one would get in the buggy and keep them back till the grade was ascended, and they would hurry and catch up to the outfit and stay right there. It mattered not where we left the outfit at night, the next morning it was our delight to get in the buggy, give them a loose line, and they would take us back and never miss a turn.
They would stand tied beside the engine during field threshing and seem as proud of it as if it were a big brother, but just let it be an engine of the same make belonging to another man - that was altogether another story.
One day Dad was driving Dick into town all dressed up with a high crowned black felt hat on with shoestring band. Just as he got in town driving serenely along, an engine exactly like ours came throbbing out of an alley and Dick knew that just was not his engine and there was nothing he could do about it but put on a scare. With a lightning leap that almost disjointed Dad's neck, he was off up the street leaving the felt hat behind in the street, and he went a block before Dad could get him stopped.