At the Back40 Farm we have 2 John Deere “Gators”. They have replaced the mules and oxen on today’s small farms….small but strong 4wheel drive ATVs with dump beds and tow hitches. We have had more than a few mishaps…..so many come to mind, but let me highlight this one, or two.
My “city mouse” wife took her fancy friend Anne on a Gator tour of the farm, one sunny day…….fancy in this case is a big compliment, as well as a descriptive term that comes into play later……the Back40 property has probably 2 miles of assorted trails, 90% of which are mowed paths through the hay fields. People are instructed: “have fun, stay on the paths, don’t drive with the emergency brake on”
1. Have fun.
2. Stay on the paths.
3. Release brake when driving.
Check, check, check.
Katrina of course decides to take a short cut; not noticing that the “hay” she was going to traverse was actually swamp grass. They made it about 25 feet and promptly sunk the Gator, wheels spewing mud in the air as the vehicle sunk slowly….lower, and lower, until the mud had now crept onto the floor boards.
Now picture these 2 city chicks, marooned in a swamp, wearing…….I am going to go easy on them here: leather sandals, sun dresses, sparkling jewelry, all coiffed and mani’d and pedi’d. I’m sorry, it was what it was.
Help! Help! Damsels in distress! Help! We’re sinking! Anne watch out! The mud is hitting your Espadrilles.
I hear them from 150 yards away and my wheels start moving. (not literally; I’m referring to those fast firing synopses that generate decision making)
Quandary. Do I let them sit there like the father who leaves his son in jail to teach him a lesson? Do I mosey on down there, sipping an iced tea, smirking and rolling video?
Both are delicious ideas…that had to be rejected immediately. (i’m ashamed it took me so long to decide what to do…I’m just being honest).
So I hopped up on Clifford the big Red Tractor and drove down there and pulled them out….spending at least an hour knee deep in muck, while the city mice recovered by the pool.
Funny now. Yes. Way funnier then.
Coincidentally, Bill King, Back40 Farm owner, and supreme scolder of Gator Mistreaters, was mowing the high grass in the same spot….tooling around on his soup’d up Kubota sit down mower with the racing stripes and cup holders…..he takes a turn too wide, right near the same swamp…and?
Sinks the mower….almost flipping it.
Bill was wearing his favorite Gucci loafers, gabardine shorts, and a silk/linen blend blue, always blue, dress shirt, with the sleeves gently rolled up. (when I came up to him he was frustratedly cleaning his RayBans, scolding himself)
That swamp has eaten at least 10 Gators. We might as well build a bridge….at least that way I’ll be able to enjoy an afternoon of stone wall hunting without having to play Tommy Towtruck in the muck.