We had to harvest in the Fall--A Short Story

We Had to Harvest in the Fall

It was a hot day. The sun burned with a heat rarely felt, except in the stories you would hear from old men.

Those old men who you knew like to embellish everything they said until it was almost a lie.

Almost a lie, but not quite.You never knew what to believe when they told you something.

He had heard stories of the old days, days when men were men , and hard work was the norm.

Young Tom was thinking about some of the stories he had heard , tales of the old days when

you used horses for everything , and a days work meant a day of hard heavy labour.

The job he was doing today was reminsient of those old days. Stuking grain by hand was a laborious job, and he

thought there was no worse weather to do it in then in this heat. Stuking by hand was the old way , but in the

old days you had to cut it by hand too, not like today with grain binders on every farm, doing

the work of a hundred men.You could cut a lot og frain in a day with one of those machines.

He looked out over the expanse of ground around him and found it impossable to imagine hundreds of men

wandering around loose out there , swinging scyths around like men gone mad. Because to his way of

thinking, it was a mad thing to do.Life without a binder was unimaginable to him.Thank God

for modern machinery. He was miles away in his thoughts when he was interupted by the loud

bellow of his father

Hurrah Lad, are you going to work, or are you just renting that spot"

Tom realized he had been daydreaming quite a while. Jolted back to reality and the job at hand, he started

working at full pace, trying to catch up to the others who had been working steadily, and had long since

passed him. His row had to get done, and no one was going to do it for him.

Paying no heed he grabbed sheaves and stacked then in their stbkes then ran to the next pile to

repeat the process. He grabbed at the sheaves carelessly, and was halfway done with this stuke when he

felt a sharp pain in his nexk. He reached for the spot and immediately felt another sting on his

hand. The started coming from all over his body. The pain was everywhere, his ears started to ring.

He was aware suddenly that the ringing was a hum, the hum of hornets, thousands of hornets. They had

built a hive in one or two of the sheaves , and in his rush he had failed to notice. "Damn"

He realized suddenly that this was a bigger hive then normal. He was over run with stings. They were

coming by the hundreds. The pain was too much to bear, he was afraid, and he screamed, again and again he screamed

as he ran. He was in a mad, blind run, pushed on by pain. He saw his cousin out of the corner

of his eye and some half remembered sense told him to run to him, to get to this man. He knew from stories

he had heard , and some small but amazing things he had seen , that this young man was his salvation.

If he could just reach him in time he would be safe. He was out of his mind with pain by this time, but that thought

persisted, "reach Alvin, just reach Alvin, Alvin will save you"

The stings kept coming

Alvin was one of those rare people who connects with animals, any animal. Tom had seen him walk up to and pet a wild

rabbit. It had amazed him. Tom had been told that his cousin shared a spirit with all the animals, and could feel

with them all the feelings an animal has. It was a rare gift, one the family held in great  esteem.

He woke up in his own bed, burning all over from the hundreds of stings he had recieved. Alvin

was there, standing at the side of his bed, not a sting on him.

"Even with Bees" was all Tom could manage to say over the pain

"Even with Bees" was all Alvin said back to the boy.

A few days later , still sore, but recovered, Tom was back at work in the fields. He decided that from now on all

his daydreaming would be done at the proper time, to avoid accidents like this again.

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saiom's picture

what a powerful poem Owl... I

what a powerful poem Owl...

I would like to pass it on to many