Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 46th Installment

the well shaft sucking almost like the she wanted to see it burn too. The night fire, when we burned the well, was a thing of beauty; it almost brought tears of emotion to my eyes. We could feel the heat, hear the roar, and watch as the flame lit the yard; the lighted surrounding trees making a few seconds of another world. Then the flame flashed out and it was over; we doubled down on our celebration. “I will always have the image in my mind,” I thought. But alas, the well was only sucking one or two days out of a month, and we lost interest in checking it all the time.

Chapter 11
November and December were cold enough that the jackrabbit bounty semi– truck trailer was parked at Mel’s store, just like Tex said it would be. They were paying ten cents a frozen jackrabbit, and Russ and I were working triple overtime building hay yard traps, jackrabbit traps, and hunting every free minute. We had attached a fifty–five gallon drum with the top cut out to the drawbar of the Ford tractor to haul our building materials out into the farm’s hay yards, and the drum is terrific for hauling the jackrabbits we have harvested back to the house at night. We had fenced two of our hay yards with chicken wire and one of our neighbor’s, and to our excitement, the traps worked well. We had also built four free–standing traps along the west edge of our farm by fashioning the chicken wire into a ten to twelve foot circle, installing a tunnel entrance and tossing in a slab of hay as bait.
Our typical Saturday would go as follows:
  1. Early morning, milk the cows and hurry through the chores around the home place.
  2. Eat breakfast.
  3. Never skip step two.
  4. Take the tractor, the barrel, our drive clubs, the guns and go to check all the traps.
  5. At the last fenced hay yard, load 25 bales of hay to the wagon, and pull it with tractor into the field where we were feeding 100 head of cattle. (The flying ~U~ cattle ranch was leasing our farm during the winter to board their cattle and purchased our hay to feed them.)
  6. Go home for lunch and lay out our morning harvest of jackrabbits (they freeze quicker laid out than left in a pile).
  7. Never skip step six.
  8. Check with Vernon for work responsibilities in the afternoon and hurry through them.
  9. Take the tractor and do some hunting.
  10. Head home and milk the cows and do the chores.
  11. Have supper.
  12. Never skip step eleven.
  13. Relax a little while, and as it gets dark head out with the spotlight to night hunt.
Hurry up!” I was sitting on the tractor the next morning waiting for Russ. The chores were done, and we were going to check our traps. The break of day

500 more words tomorrow

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