Lee Pitts: Cover up | TSLN.com

Lee Pitts: Cover up

Every dry cloud has a silver lining. I have been very lucky these past seven years in that it hasn't rained and I haven't had to cover the hay! I have a friend who hasn't been so fortunate. John lives in a wetter climate and he and his wife got divorced last year and he blames all their arguments on having to cover the hay stack.

Recently the ducks have relearned how to swim around our place as the storms have been coming every other day. This means of course that the hay has to be covered every other day after loading the feed truck. During a recent break in the weather I took the time to explain the proper method for covering the hay stack to my recently divorced friend in case he should ever want to remarry.

"The trick to spreading the tarps while balanced precariously atop a hay stack in the strong winds that always precede a storm is tires," I explained to John. "Basically you need three things to cover a hay stack; heavy tires, a good tarp and an even better wife. With our proven method I get on top the stack while my wife stands in the bed of the truck and lifts the heavy old truck tires up to me. Then I strategically place them on the tarp to keep it from blowing."

"But why not let the wife be on top of the stack and you lift the heavy tires up to her?" asked my stupid friend. It's no wonder his wife left him!

"Because my wife is afraid of heights," I explained. "Oh, sure I used to put her on top of the stack but that was before the little incident when she discovered a mice nest in the top of the hay stack and tried to run from them. It was a nasty fall and she had to take the rest of the afternoon off to do housework. Ever since she's been afraid of heights."

"I can certainly understand that," said a sensitive John. "Have you ever considered building a hay barn?" he asked, as if I was made of money.

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"Oh, sure we have but my wife is afraid she'd have to roof it. I wanted a pole barn for Christmas but we're trying to put some money aside for all the back operations I'm sure my wife will have to have in the future. Maybe next year we'll get a hay barn."

"I'm sure your wife would like that."

"Yeah we're getting tired of covering hay. The worst part is about the time you get the hay all snugged down and covered up it's time to feed and all the hay is underneath the tarp that is covered with heavy tires. One by one I have to drop those heavy tires off the stack. Here's a handy hint for you, John. If you decide to use the tire method please be advised that it is never possible to get the rain water out of the tires so when they hit the ground it's like a ten megaton water bomb. I can tell you from personal experience that your feeding partner does not want to be standing too close when they hit."

"The problem that my wife and I had," explained John, "was who would be on top and who would be on the bottom."

"Well, since my wife hates heights when we load the feed truck I stand on top of the stack and roll the bales off the stack into the bed of the truck. It is my wife's job to pick up the bales that miss the bed of the truck and buck them up on to the truck. Gravity is at work here and an occasional bale will break upon impact. Those are especially hard to load but it keeps my wife in great shape."

"I wish I'd have known all your secrets when my ex-wife and I were feeding," said a far wiser John.

"Yeah, it might have saved your marriage. I suppose I'm glad that the drouth broke but I do have to admit that sometimes I wish it would stop raining so we wouldn't have to keep covering the hay."

"Well you have no control over that," said John wistfully. "There's a higher power than us that controls that."

"Yeah, I suppose she's doing the best she can."

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