Sunday Haying

[Charles E. Page, September, 2003]

When I lived on the Butler's Corners farm, before I was married, although I didn't plan to work on Sundays except for chores, often a job such as getting in hay could not wait. If rain was anticipated on Monday I had no compunction about getting it in on Sunday. The old saying- "Make hay while the sun shines"! And the other, "The better the day the better the deed"!

On this particular Sunday I still had at least one load yet to get in. As soon as the dew was off, I headed for the field with the team, wagon and pitchfork. My sister, Dora, said, half jokingly, "You know this is Sunday. You may have trouble."

But she came along to drive the horses while I pitched the hay onto the wagon. There was more there than I had figured, but I put it all on the one load anyway. It was a big load and I had to chain a wheel to act as a brake bringing it down the hill. It would have been too much for Chub and Doll to control.

As I rode along down on the top of the top-heavy load, I could feel that it was "one sided" or off center. It was too heavy on the left side. I moved as far as I could to right and hoped it would stay on long enough to get into the barn. We almost made it.

I was crossing the road, which passed by close to the barn, and the horses pressed into their collars starting the harder pull up the ramp onto the barn floor. Then it happened!

The load tipped over dumping the hay, and completely blocking the road. Of course I fell to the road with it. The horses knew enough to stop and the wagon righted itself. I was ok, only my pride was hurt.

I drove the nearly empty wagon out of the way and started dragging the hay into the barn one pitchfork full at a time. Sunday traffic on that dirt road was not heavy, so I didn't hold up many cars while I cleaned up.

Ah, the good old days!