By SLIM RANDLES
Special to the Sun-Gazette
Harley pulled the tractor over to the ditch and cut the engine. He climbed down stiffly, walked to the water and soaked his head and shirt. Then he looked around. No cars were coming down the county road. No one at the house could see him. So he smiled, sat on a rock and leaned back against the ditchbank.
A farmer's recliner, he thought, wiggling slightly to avoid kidney puncture by a twig. He was smiling that dignified farmer's smile on the outside but laughing on the inside. So nice to just rest here for a minute in the sun. Oh, he wouldn't have done it if he'd left the engine running. Waste of gas. But the engine was off, all the seeds were in for this year, and all he was doing was plowing summer fallow now. No rush. Do it any time.
So Harley locked his hands behind his head, lay back against the ditch grass, and just looked around.
Marshmallow clouds today against a dark blue sky. Crows flying in to Harley's fields from Roger's. He paused a moment from pure observation to lean a bit on philosophy. He considered that fences and land deeds and farming contracts meant nothing to these birds. There is more than a bit of envy there, but just for a minute. Harley stood, stretched his back and drank from the canteen on the tractor.
Crows didn't worry about deeds, he thought, but hey, they didn't get to watch football in the fall, either.
All in all, on a nice summer's day like this, there's nothing wrong with being a farmer.
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Home Country is a weekly syndicated column written by outdoors journalist and humorist Slim Randles.
Contact Slim Randles at firstname.lastname@example.org.