I've been looking through old computer files and ran across this gem that my Mom (Ruby M. (Sproule) Pratt 1912 ~ 1999 wrote when I asked her to share some of her life on the farm in Lena, Manitoba.
DRIVING A TEAM
by Ruby M. (Sproule) Pratt
When I was about 10 I had my first experience driving a team of horses hitched to a hay rake. The purpose of the hay rake was to glean all missed crops which was not bound into sheaves by the binder. This didn't amount to much where wheat, oats and barley were concerned but flax was a different matter. It doesn't grow very tall and was apparently not tied into sheaves. Have you ever seen a field of several acres of flax in bloom? Delicate blue flowers reaching for the sun. If you have not seen these you'll have to wait till you get to heaven. There is sure to be such there.
I don't like to quote figures for fear of making a liar out of my mommy. But I do know that when wheat may have been worth 60 cents a bushel, flax was worth at least twice as much and a farmer would not leave gleanings to waste in the fields.
Kids on a farm could be quite useful but there were not many ways the four of use could earn some spending money. That's where the hayrake came into being for me. I could have whatever money Dad got for the gleanings of the flax field. Of course the operation required additional work for field hands because the piles raked up had to be loaded on a hayrack and added to the rest of the crop.
Looking back I realize my Dad had found away to salvage the gleanings and to salvage my pride in feeling I really earned the money from the flax. How generous he was in the estimate of what I raked up. I will never know but I learned a good deal about my dear Dad in so many such incidents in later years.
I look now at some skinny little ten year old girls and wonder how they would feel sitting high on a hayrake guiding two normal sized horses up and down windrows raising the rake at the end of the row and lowering it again at the beginning of the next. I guess it must have had a foot control because I don't think I could have done it by hand. I was never afraid where horses were concerned and I know my Dad never put me in jeopardy.
Marge ... who is so proud of her wonderful Mom and miss her so.
A wonderful story... I love to hear about days gone by...
Thank you for sharing that with all of us!
Now I am going back to read it again.😊
I loved reading this.
I too, grew up on a farm, and wouldn't trade that experience for millions!
A wonderful story! I hope you have others to share.
If only today's children could have those life experiences! Why is it we want to make life so easy for them now?
Thank you for posting this.
I think when we get 'old' (hate that word) we should all put our memories down in writing for our younger generations to read about our lives when we were younger.
I did - and surprisingly it was not difficult to do once I began to write.
Ah yes, life on the farm. It was a lot of hard work, but so worth it when you have all those fresh veggies and meat on the table. Earned by your sweat and efforts. Not easy, but worthwhile work.
a very loving story. Children today are missing so much. I too, was raised on a farm.
Thank you for sharing this.
Beautiful story. It sounds like you had wonderful, loving parents.
Great story! Kids need to do things to feel useful and earn spending money. Good training for when they enter the workforce.
Wonderful. She was a good writer. I can picture this in my mind.