BY KEITH TUCKER
Special to The Enterprise
It’s hard to believe how much farm life has changed. When I was four, my siblings went off to school, so I was left with my grandfather. He was farming a few acres with his two mules. He took his half gallon glass fruit jar with water for us. So, we would ride the ground, slide to the field to chop or weed, or set mole traps. Sometimes he’d get a bucket and spread some fertilizer by hand. There was an apple tree nearby and I would go play under or climb on it or snack on the fruit. Sometimes I took a few little metal action figures to stage a war.
On one such day, a dark cloud came up quite suddenly and within a few minutes it was raining profusely, starting to hail and air-to-ground lightning was popping really close. He shouted for me to get on and hold on, and when I boarded and sat, he stood up like riding a surfboard and we galloped back to the house. I think maybe the slide was hitting the ground every few feet.
He had the reins slapping and gave a loud “haaahhhh” every few seconds. That was the most excitement of the whole summer. The water jug got left behind and we got under the shed to unbridle and take the harness off. The mule was happy to get safely back and ran to his stall and turned around and stuck his head out.
If I could read mule expressions, it was “dang, I’m glad that’s over.” Some dry clothes and some cheese and crackers, and before long the sun was out again. He said, “I think that’s going to do it for today.” Just another day in the life of a four-year-old.
Editor’s note: Keith Tucker is a Greenfield resident and owner of The Marble Shop. He may contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.