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The Threshing Ring
ONE OF THE JOYFUL EVENTS OF FARM LIFE IN THE PAST WAS TO BE A PART OF THE THRESHING RING. WHEAT OR OATS WERE FIRST CUT WITH A BINDER, A MACHINE WHICH CUT THE CROP AND BOUND TOGETHER SMALL PACKAGES CALLED BUNDLES. THE BINDER WAS EITHER PULLED WITH HORSES OR A TRACTOR. DAD USED A TACTOR TO PULL OUR BINDER WHILE I SOMETIMES RODE ON THE BINDER TO OPERATE THE BINDER DUMP. THE BINDER HAD A CRADLE WHICH CARRIED THE BUNDLES AND THE BINDER OPERATOR WOULD DUMP THEM IN PROPER ORDER TO CREATE WINDROWS. PEOLE CALLED SHOCKERS WOULD THEN FOLLOW ALONG AND MAKE SHOCKS OF WHEAT OR OATS. I WAS NOT VERY PRECISE IN DUMPING BUNDLES AND DAD WOULD YELL 'YOU'VE GOT TO DO A BETTER JOB THAN THAT.' OTTIE LOVE OWNED THE THRESHING RIG WHICH THRASHED OUR GRAIN. THE THRESHING MACHINE WAS POWERED BY A BIG BAKER ENGINE. BUNDLES OF GRAIN WERE HAULED FROM THE FIELDS ON WAGONS PULLED TO THE THRESHING MACHINE BY HORSES. DAD WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR HANDLING THE GRAIN FROM THE MACHINE. HE ALWAYS HAD A GOOD WAGON WHICH WOULD HOLD GRAIN. BEING A CARPENTER EARLIER IN LIFE GAVE HIM SKILLS TO BUILD AND REPAIR MANY THINGS ON THE FARM. I WOULD HELP DAD WITH THE GRAIN AS IT WAS PUT IN SACKS OR DUMPED LOOSE IN THE WAGON. IDLE TIME CAUSED A VARIETY OF ACTIVITY AROUND THE THRESHING MACHINE. WE YOUNGUNS WOULD CATCH HORSE FLIES AND PLACE STRAWS IN THEIR POSTERIOR SEEING WHICH ONE COULD CARRY THE LONGEST STRAW. SOMETIMES IT WOULD RAIN, NOT ENOUGH TO STOP THRESHING FOR THE REST OF THE DAY. THE CREW WOULD WAIT AROUND FOR THE SUN TO DRY OFF THE MOISTURE. THIS WAS A TIME WHEN ALL SMART TOM CATS WOULD HEAD FOR THE HILLS. USUALLY A BOOT WAS FOUND ALONG WITH THE TOM CAT. HEAD FIRST HE WENT INTO THE BOOT AND SOON HIS FATHERHOOD WAS GONE FOREVER. IT WAS A GOOD THING THE HUMANE SOCIETY WAS NOT VERY ACTIVE AT THAT TIME. ALL OF US COULD HAVE SPENT LIFE IN PRISON.

Submitted By: LOREN LILLY from IN on 2000-02-02

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