Sunday, November 6, 2011

Short Shorts #14

During semester breaks in college, I would often go work on a small farm a few hours from town. As humorous as the sight of me doing any manual labor is, nothing is as funny as me atop a large tractor. I did odd jobs around the place, from cleaning the house, tending to the dogs, and mowing the fields. The warm moist summer had allowed the fields to overgrow quite quickly, it was then my task to keep it at bay. I soon learned the ins and outs of attaching the mowers to the tractor, deploying the blades, and maneuvering around the various landmarks in the field.
One day while working the fields, I was watching carefully before me as I drove the tractor forward into the grasses. A small dark object darted between the plants. I stopped the machine quickly and watched. Again there was movement and I spied a tiny furry creature huddled in fear beneath the grass. I turned off the mowers and stepped down from the tractor. Reaching into the grass I pulled up the frightened creature, a small black shrew. I thought about what it was like to be a tiny creature, trying to survive in this massive empty field, when such a horrendous clattering beast came upon you. My mind also wandered to the image of being pulled into the giant spinning blades. I could not continue with my duties on the farm. Though asking for other tasks to take on, it was quickly apparent this was not the place for me. Understanding the full impact of everything that I do in life, became of great significance to me from that day on.

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