It’s sometimes mind-boggling just how far-afield farm-related stories stretch. Almost as mind boggling as the number of hyphenated words we can squeeze into one sentence…
Above is a case in point.
Last Wednesday, or Tuesday, we were trying to get the green tractor started. We like to keep it in a semi-broken state to frustrate ourselves when in a pinch and this day we needed a second set of jumper cables to jump the dead battery. Our property on Pond Field is really two adjacent properties, with driveways just 1/8 of a mile apart. We were 50 yards from driveway number one and asked Elijah to hop in the above pickup, head down to driveway number two and grab some jumper cables.
He dutifully complied, but after fifteen minutes, we got impatient. Sure he’d forgotten why he’d gone where, Wright called Elijah to ask what was delaying his return.
“I just got hit by an 18-wheeler,” was the response.
Apparently, Elijah had turned left out of the driveway, and the red behemoth in the picture blew past us, barrelling down on him. As hard as it is to believe, Elijah’s fine ‘vehicle’ lacked turn signals. Brake lights it had, but his arm signalled turns. This time he’d forgotten to signal – to our great relief.
According to the driver of the 18-wheeler, he’d seen Elijah pull out and didn’t think he’d stop so soon. By the time he realized Elijah was both stopping and turning, it was too late. He’d swerved into the left lane to try and avoid hitting the teenager in the little truck, but it turned left, too.
People flippantly toss around the entrance “Miraculously”. This is no such usage because miraculously Elijah did not signal. If he had, his left arm would be gone. Miraculously he wasn’t killed when the 18 wheeler hit his driver side. Miraculously his truck spun 180 degrees, slid down into and up out of a ditch and never flipped. The truck is totalled. The son is miraculously alive.
To our dismay, on a technicality, the State Trooper ruled this a no-fault wreck. Though happy to be alive, Elijah was devastated. He had pulled out all of his wheeling and dealing stops to acquire the wrecked gem…
Well, he convinced his grandfather to sell him a four-wheeler at a rock-bottom price, then added new wheels and that’s what he traded for his truck.
This was after he’d swapped a $250 shotgun for a little dirtbike and then traded the little dirtbike for a my-parents-didn’t-understand-how-dangerous-this-really-is dirtbike.
Why do I digress?
It was this very horse-trader streak, coupled with still-fresh truck-loss disappointment that induced our son to take his next step, or mis-step.
Always on the hunt, and headed back from picking up his little sister from a friend’s house, Elijah decided to stop in at a random house.
Did he know the inhabitants?
Did he notice a helicopter circling nearby?
Did he spy six or seven neatly dressed men on four wheelers parked in the front yard?
And as soon as he stopped the vehicle and stepped out, he definitely noticed when one of these men grabbed him, spun him around and tossed him onto the hood of our car.
At this point you might be wondering, “Why? Why did he stop?” Well, for several months Elijah had noticed a little pickup, not unlike his just-buried vehicle, sitting, unused, in the front yard of this particular domicile. “Why not just stop and ask if they’d be interested in selling it,” he’d thought.
Well, now we know, because the folks that lived there were growing and/or manufacturing some sort of controlled and illegal substance, for which a major drug raid had taken place not five minutes before.
Back to Elijah’s search…
The questions began flying, “Who are you? What are you doing here? How do you know these people?” Terrified, Elijah stammered out his true, but poorly-timed-for-maximum-plausibility story. The officers were not impressed. His timing, afterall, was awfully coincidental.
So, they shuffled him over to the front of the house, and told him to stand still and face the home’s front picture window, then turn to the right, as if being photographed. This, he was told, was for the benefit of the handcuffed individuals inside. If they recognized him, he was in trouble. I’m pretty sure that, at this point, he didn’t mouth to the individuals inside, “H-o-w m-u-c-h f-o-r t-h-e t-r-u-c-k ?”
Pretty sure, but not positive.
Of course, they did not recognise him, but the officers weren’t satisfied until they’d questioned Elijah a few more minutes. Finally they let him go with a, “Boy did you pull into the wrong place at the wrong time!”
You can imagine our surprise when he returned from picking up his little sister with this story!
Why include this in our newsletter? What does this have to do with farming?
Something very important. It has taught us…
The next time you’ve got a dead battery on your tractor and one pair of jumper cables won’t get you going, just go buy a battery. Spend the money, because you never know what’s gonna happen on a search for that second pair of jumper cables.