Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The "BIG RED BIRD." Aka Farmer Bill and the city man.

Being as we are lucky to farm some land lots of other folks think is pretty to look at.  And being as those folks often will spend a nice weekend day down from the city, touring along our farm roads in straight from the car wash vehicles, cameras clutched eagerly, it is not unsurprising that on occasion the inter-galactic meeting of farmer and city dweller can inspire some confusion.  And humor.
Such was the case one fine fall day, as Farmer Bill drove a tractor planting a field of winter barley along the edge of the prairie bluff.  Earlier in the day, as was the fad of the time, there had been some folks up along the upper edge of the bluff hang-gliding.  Leaping off the high prairie edge and catching the strong upward ocean currents and gliding out along the edge of the Pacific Ocean where it leads into the San Juan Strait.
They had been there for several hours and then packed up and left.  Bill continued to work his field, back and forth, straight and tidy lines.
An hour or so after they left, as Farmer Bill came close to finishing the final passes on the field, up drove a shiny, clean jeep.  Off the main road, across the grass border and on up through the newly planted field.  Furrows of dirt pulverizing the smooth expanse of perfectly planted field.  It was a JEEP after all.
The city man driving the jeep stopped in front on Bill's path, parked and jumped out.  Hands waving and shouting.
Now it must be said that many a farmer would have likely gotten pretty ticked off at this point.  But not Farmer Bill.  He was a Smith afterall. This was a prime opportunity for getting even.
Farmer Bill turned the tractor off.  A drawn out process involving a lot of shuddering and backfiring (on the part of the tractor).  Eventually the tractor is quiet.
"Did you see the people hang-gliding here earlier?"  city man asks.  "Do you know when they left?  Which way did they go?"
Bill doesn't respond, just a befuddled stare from atop his tractor perch.
"You know, hang-gliding?  There should have been a few blues ones, a orange glider, a red one.  Hang-gliding?"  city man sticks his arms out from his side, does a little pretend glide through the field.
"Well..." Bill says.  "I didn't see no haaannng-gliders.  Nope."  Long pause.  "But I did see a BIIGGG REEEDDD BIRRDDDDD."
At this point city man is very excited.  Contact has been made!  "Oh great, do you know when they left?  How long ago was that?  Did they drive off back this way or up over the hill?"
Again, blank befuddled stare from Bill.  Another long pause.
"And it, and was a carrying something.  Looked just like an itty bitty little person. Funniest thing."  Farmer Bill looks off across the water, shakes his head a bit, his dusty, blood shot eyes glazed as he remembers this strange sight.
"That's right, that's right," says city man.  Exasperation showing.  "When did the leave?  Which way did they go?"
"And then," Bill drawls, the tiny little smirk on the side of his face unnoticed by city man. "That BIIGGG REEDDD BIIRRRDDD well it just flew right out over the ocean and then, and then it just dropped that little itty bitty thing it was carrying and it just flew on off.  Right out about over there."  And he points, straight out toward the endless expanse of blue-grey Pacific Ocean.
And with that, Farmer Bill started up his tractor with one smooth motion and was off, one hand on the wheel, head turned back to watch his implement. He executes a perfectly straight line of planted row while driving a several ton, complicated piece of machinery while looking backwards the entire time.  The city man stands in the field, white-faced and speechless.
The city man?  We don't know what happened to him.  We know he must of eventually found out he had been had.  We hope it taught him a new respect for farmers.  Or at least to not drive across their fields.


  1. You know, I doubt the city slicker ever "got it". Anyone who would drive across a fresh plowed field is not bright enough to get it.

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  4. Haha, that was a great story! Why the heck did the guy think he could drive across your field? *shakes head*

  5. SOme people get no respect and others have no clue what it even is. I'm betting city man was in the category of the latter.