Tractor stories and grandchildren

Little girl

“The farmer had a bright yellow tractor, and it got stuck in deep mud in the far-away pasture where the cows loved to go on hot summer days …”

This is the latest story I began spinning for my oldest grandson, three years old and trying his very best to avoid nap time.

“Just one more story, Gigi,” he says to me.

“What kind of story would you like?” I ask.

Every single time the answer is the same: “a tractor story!”

I have told him stories based in true memories, and I have spun wild and crazy stories of talking tractors and disobedient, rogue machines that no farmer would put up with, so I am constantly reaching far into my imagination for this little boy.

Pink tractors

One day, I spun a story of a pink tractor that showed up when the woman farmer had actually ordered a red one instead. His giggles over this story proved priceless.

All of a sudden, he stopped giggling and said, “Wait! There’s not really pink tractors, Gigi … it’s just a story, right?”

I assured him it was just a “pretend” story.

His brown eyes sparkled as he said, “I wish we could get my sissy a pink one so she didn’t play with mine all the time.”


He loves visiting our house, even more since we landed a beauty of a deal on a John Deere pedal tractor last summer from friends, Duane and Donna Keener. It’s a good thing they are built to last, because oodles of acres of work await this little fellow every time he visits.

One day this past week, the UPS man delivered a heavy Ertl box, and lo and behold, inside was a pink pedal tractor just waiting for a little girl to love it. While waiting for his dad to come to our house to put it together, Brooks couldn’t wait to tell his little sister that Gigi told him a story just like this, and he wished hard for it to come true.

“But, Sissy, you might not be able to reach the pedals yet, cause you’re just wittle. I can make sure it works just right,” he said with a mix of kindness and big brother assertion.


When the pink Farmall C was eventually put together, final bolts being tightened, little one-year-old Landry was jumping for joy and reaching for the pink seat.

In a true salesman move, big brother Brooks said, “Hey, Sissy, you can sit on the green tractor,” something he never would have offered in a million years if there hadn’t been new wheels about to turn on the sidewalk.

The pink tractor, a bit lighter-weight for its intended operator one day, sails like the wind up and down the imaginary soybean field. It has a pretty silver hitch pin, a touch of class, just waiting to haul anything our little blue-eyed girl sets her mind to hitch to one day.

Now, the hunt is on for one more pedal tractor for our son’s son, also 1. I have a feeling big cousin Brooks will be quite willing to serve as inspector general of any new arrival, no matter the paint color.


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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, and three grandchildren.



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