Dad had bought a new tractor.
Painted bright yellow, it was a thing of real beauty.
Or so the men in my family thought.
It was parked proudly between the shop (formerly our home - see here) and the pasture, wherein my horse was . . . erm . . . pastured.
The tractor stood there in lonely glory, awaiting the delivery of two more back wheels.
Now it was unheard of, at that time, for a tractor to have more than the requisite two.
Back wheels, that is.
But this one did.
Or soon would have.
Each of the existing wheels had three feet of extra axle sticking out in happy anticipation.
This is important.
And I didn't care. I was getting my horse ready for a show.
I needed to load up my tack.
This entailed maneuvering the car between the pasture fence and the shed door.
I could see the tractor.
I could see the fence.
I could see the shed.
All was well.
What on earth had I hit?
There was the shed.
There was the tractor.
There was the fence.
All in perfect sight.
I pulled forward and got out to inspect the damage.
I should point out here that this was the same car that I had only recently filled with diesel fuel. My stock had dropped considerably over that event and hadn't had the chance to rise very far. This new stunt guaranteed that it would never rise again.
I walked to the back of the car.
To see six inches of extra axle poking into the rear car fender.
The extra axle.
That would, one day, support extra wheels.
In all of my careful looking, I had forgotten to look up.
To the stupid axle hanging in the air three and a half feet above the ground.
Once more, in high dudgeon, I drove to the house to show my dad.
Who labeled me a driving menace.
He was right.