Farm boys always know where their dad is

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In the world of one four-year-old farm boy, I can tell you with great certainty that the work is never, ever done.

One night last week, Oliver was thrilled to get to ride in the combine for a few rounds with his daddy. His hard-working mama had picked him up after she got off work, fed him a snack and began preparing a hearty meal that could be delivered to her husband working late in the fields.

Oliver quite impatiently waited for his mom to get everything packed up. Then she suddenly realized she wasn’t at all sure on which farm she would find her hubby.

Back seat driver

From his car seat in the back of the vehicle, Oliver tried to share some pointers with his mom.

“Hey, why are you going this way? Why don’t you try the Moherman farm first,” he asked. “You are heading straight for corn, and I can tell you Dad did not have a corn head on. We are looking for beans!”

Sure enough, they arrived at wide open corn fields and no sign of a combine, causing a cry of frustration from the back seat peanut gallery.

“OK, buddy. Just work with me here. I’m trying hard to find your daddy and we will find him, I promise!”

Carrie begins backing out of the cornfield and Oliver asks a few questions to decipher her direction. He did not like the answers.

“Again! CORN! That’s all corn at that farm. Mom, the corn is still too wet. We are looking for beans, I’m tellin ya! Soybean fields is where Dad goes when he has the bean head on! I say we try the Moherman farm cause I just know that’s where he’s gonna be. That’s where the beans are!”

Saw the lights

Sure enough, as Carrie made the turn toward the field where Oliver had first attempted to direct her, combine lights heralded a happy discovery.

“See, Mom, I told ya! See there? He has the bean head on and he’s combining beans!”

Oliver was mostly incensed that a whole lot of time had been wasted, cutting into his combining minutes. Supper was delivered and eaten, and Oliver climbed up in to his safe perch in the combine.

His four-year-old brain grasps every step of the process.

By the time Todd scooped Oliver up to send him back home for a bath and bedtime, that little fellow had been going over his own inventory of farm work.

“Thanks for helping me, buddy!” Todd says as he gives his oldest son a squeeze.

“Yep, no problem,” Oliver coolly replies.

“But I’m gonna tell ya right now I won’t be able to help you tomorrow.”

His papa laughingly asks why not.

“Cause I got farming of my own needing done at home! It’s time to get the corn head on, don’t ya think?”

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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, in college.

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