Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Thursday, October 19, 2017

Harvest in a Hurry

It's harvest season.
Time for a story about another harvest.
In another era . . .

How it was done under normal circumstances.
You can see the Bundle Rack in the background...
First, a bit of background . . .
Well into the 1940s, the Berg family ran a threshing machine fed by bundles (sheaves) of grain transported by bundle ‘racks’ pulled by a team of horses.
Bundle racks were trailers usually 14 to 16 feet long and 8 feet wide, with a 5-foot wood barrier front and back. The rack was mounted on a four-wheeled running gear with the two front wheels attached to the tongue—a long wooden pole where the horses were attached and which acted as a steering apparatus for the front wheels.
The driverless team pulling the rack was controlled by the man doing the loading of the sheaves and directed by the commands, “Get up” or “Whoa”. The reins were tied to a ‘V’ notched in the top board of the front of the rack and the horses were steered next to the stooks (sheaves of grain gathered and standing together) by the man as he walked alongside. With his pitchfork, he could reach out and put pressure on either rein, depending on where he wanted the team to go.
Normally, it was a calm, peaceful and surprisingly quiet operation. At least until they reached the threshing machine.
Now on to my story . . .
The brothers were threshing a field of wheat on the South Farm, just across the irrigation canal from the home place. All had gone well to this moment. Carlo, their hired man, had his rack partly filled and Don, with a full load was heading toward the thresher. Bern, the second eldest son, and his team, Maud and Dick were stopped across the field while Bern answered a call of nature.
Suddenly, a pheasant burst out of the undergrowth, startling Bern’s team.
You have to know that horses have one response to everything out of the ordinary. Run!
They took off like a shot.
Bern got his pants into running position and sprinted after them.
But before he could affect any form of control, they spooked Carlo’s team, who joined in the race.
Carlo managed to grab the front of his rack and began climbing up toward the reins.
That was the last view either of the brothers had of him.
The team had been heading for the canal, but made a sharp turn, dumping Carlo, the rack and the load into the canal.
Carlo was on the side of the rack that turned over and, fearing for his safety, Don left his team and ran to see if he was all right. But Carlo’s head appeared suddenly above the bank. He was still waving his hands and yelling, “Whoa! Whoa!”
Meanwhile, Carlo’s team, minus the rack but still pulling the empty running gear, circled back toward Don’s team. Who now joined the stampede.
Don ran back to where he had left them to find a large pile of sheaves, but no horses.
Or rack.
When they finally caught their respective teams, they surveyed the damage.
Then silently agreed it was time for lunch.

3 comments:

  1. "Bern got his pants into running position" made me grin :) You do have a way with words!

    In all seriousness, though, there was definitely danger and hard work in farming in those days. All that work, lost. (And there's still a lot of hard work in farming these days, even with so much mechanized, I think.)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Farming is still hard and dangerous work but some of the dangers have been reduced. I suspect new ones have been introduced as well though.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Too bad cel phones with video capacity weren't invented yet....that would have gone viral for sure lol.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting! Drop by again!

Hosts: Your Room's Ready

Hosts: Your Room's Ready
My newest novel! A fun romp through the world's most haunted hotel!

The Long-Awaited Sequel to Daughter of Ishmael

The Long-Awaited Sequel to Daughter of Ishmael
A House Divided is now available at all fine bookstores and on Amazon.com and .ca!

Daughter of Ishmael

Daughter of Ishmael
Now available at Amazon.com and .ca and Chapters.ca and other fine bookstores.

Follow by Email

Hugs, Delivered.

Compass Book Ratings

Compass Book Ratings

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?

Google+ Followers

Networked Blogs

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!
New Tween Novel!

Gnome for Christmas

Gnome for Christmas
The newest in my Christmas Series

SnowMan

SnowMan
A heart warming story of love and sacrifice.

Translate

My novel, Carving Angels

My novel, Carving Angels
Read it! You know you want to!

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic
What could be better than a second Christmas story?!

About the Mom

My photo

Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

Join me on Maven

Connect with me on Maven

Essence

Essence
A scientist and his son struggle to keep their earth-shattering discovery out of the wrong hands.

Essence: A Second Dose

Essence: A Second Dose
Captured and imprisoned, a scientist and his son use their amazing discovery to foil evil plans.

Looking for a Great Read?

E-Books by Diane Stringam Tolley
Available from Smashwords.com

The Babysitter

The Babysitter
A baby-kidnapping ring has its eye on J'Aime and her tiny niece.

Melissa

Melissa
Haunted by her past, Melissa must carve a future. Without Cain.

Devon

Devon
Following tragedy, Devon retreats to the solitude of the prairie. Until a girl is dropped in his lap.

Pearl, Why You Little...

Pearl, Why You Little...
Everyone should spend a little time with Pearl!

The Marketing Mentress

The Marketing Mentress
Building solid relationships with podcast and LinkedIn marketing

Coffee Row

Coffee Row
My Big Brother's Stories

Better Blogger Network

Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis
I've been given an award!!!

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award
My good friend and Amazing Blogger, Marcia of Menopausal Mother awarded me . . .

Irresistibly Sweet Award

Irresistibly Sweet Award
Delores, my good friend from The Feathered Nest, has nominated me!

Sunshine Award!!!

Sunshine Award!!!
My good friend Red from Oz has nominated me!!!

My very own Humorous Blogger Award From Delores at The Feathered Nest!

Be Courageous!


Grab and Add!

Search This Blog

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?