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
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
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
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.