Harvest Past

Here are some memories of how corn was harvested in the past

When the corn in the stooks is dry, a few weeks later we all go up to Farm to ride on the waggons going up to empty the harvest fields.

The waggons are painted carts with wide ledges round them.  Two horses pull each one, swinging their tails to keep the flies away.   We sit on the ledges hanging on like grim death.  The waggons rattle and bump down the road on huge wooden wheels.

Sometimes my Uncle Art sits on one of the horses.  He always picks a wild rose to stick in his cap.  He laughs like mad when we shriek that we are sliding off and makes the horses go faster.

When he isn’t laughing, he is whistling or singing at the top of his voice, all the way to the fields.

We have to walk all the way back.  The waggons are piled up high with the sheaves, to take them back to the farm. 

Sometimes the men haven’t piled them on properly and they will shout “hey up! It’s going to shut”!.  A pile of sheaves shoot out from the middle, then all the lot topples onto the road.  They have to pack them all on again. 

When the sheaves get to the stack yard some men with pitch forks build them into a stack.  I think they must be very clever to build them up so neatly.

They never “shut” but loads of mice jump out.  The dogs love stacking days as they chase all the mice about.

Soon it will be crab-appling and brambling time.

Connie Spendlow

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