The tractor in the tree

This is a Ferguson TO-20 tractor, but for size and appearance it is the same as the old Ford 8N we had when I was in H.S.

This one starts out from a long time ago when I was still in High School…so it is a once upon a time..but it is a fact..not fiction story.

Once upon a time, my brothers and I were home alone on our hog farm down South and I was as usual doing some household chore.  My Dad really believed in making the best use of three of the four of his children.  The youngest was, unfortunately for him, largely exempted from doing much of anything.  That is frequently one of the flaws of parenting the youngest child is that they end up having no concept said child actually turning from baby to child to adolescent.  It’s not really fair to the child to do that because when they become adults the rest of the world does not care about them being “the baby” of the family.  However, this is beside the point of this post.

Anyway, I was doing the dishes, and my oldest brother came running in to me and yelling to me in a very excited way, “You have to help me! I got the tractor stuck in a tree!”

I looked at him, and said, “What do you mean you got the tractor stuck in a tree! That’s not possible!”  He said, “No, I mean it!  I really did! Come and look!  I need you to help me get it down!”  “I don’t want to get in trouble for it!”

I still not believing him, nevertheless went with him to scope out this oddity!  Sure enough, we get to the front door and there in the front yard is the little 8N tractor up on its back wheels with its front wheels hanging over the bottom branch of a Carolina Long Leaf Pine in our front yard….motor still running!

Now I am telling you that the branch it was stuck on was at least 15 feet in the air!  It was just high enough to keep the back wheels of the tractor on the ground!

I looked at it in astonishment and wonder and with no small amount of trepidation!  My brother looked at me and said, “See I told you so!  Now how do I get it down!”  “You have to help me get it down!”

I was older than he by just enough for his young macho male heart to be mad about it whenever I was put in charge of everyone!  However, in situations like this, it was apparent that he looked up to me to help him out.  Unfortunately, I had no idea what to do.  We only lived in the South for a couple years, but we had all already heard stories about tractor accidents claiming lives of two of our Great Aunt’s Husbands.  Even now, when I am an accidents are brutal and many times deadly!

So I looked at my brother, and told him to leave that tractor right where it was and not go near it, that if he tried to get it down it would probably fall on him and he would be killed.  As far as I was concerned that was the end of it, until Mom and Dad returned home!  I went back to my dishes already figuring that it was going to be a very unpleasant evening of screaming and yelling, etc. when they got home….all because of my stupid brother!

I know you are thinking, “how did he get the tractor up in the tree?!”  Right?!!  Well, I did ask him while we were standing there and gazing at it.  He told me that he was driving it to go across the road to the field and do some work, when one of my other brothers yelled to him.  He said he looked over to see what that brother wanted and next thing he knew he was on the tractor in the tree!  So he just jumped down and came and got me.

As I said, I went back to my dishes thinking that he would be good enough to follow my “don’t touch it!” wise instructions for survival!  Not so!  About 5 minutes later, after he had repeatedly stood around begging me to think of something he left.  Then came running back in and informed me, “I got it down!”

NOW THAT WAS A SCARY THING TO HEAR!  I looked at him, and called him a Dummy!  told him how stupid he was and how lucky that he wasn’t killed!  Then I asked him how he managed it….”I just jumped back up there and threw it in reverse and it came right down!”

I am telling you that although we were not church goers in the least, God really was looking out for my brother that day!  He saved us from going through a lot of pain and suffering, both in the evening, and also the potential pain and suffering that would have been caused by my brother’s death if that tractor had flipped over on him!  I am really grateful to God for his care in my growing up years and to this day!  God is awesome!  He really cares for those who sometimes don’t have the sense of a billy goat!

Some wondrous things happened to us when we were growing up, this was just one of them!



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