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Bales of Hay, a Motor Scooter and Barbed Wire

When I visited my Grandma’s farm out in the countryside in the early sixties, I drove there by a relatively new motor scooter; always good fun! On arrival, following a nice cup of typically English tea, I was asked if I could carry a load of hay bales from over the other side of the farm over a covered barn from the field beyond. Well, I thought, a walk in the park. Or as it transpired, a walk on the farm.

Whether ingenuity, plain laziness, or knowing that straw bales weighed a theoretical tonne, dragging each one from the field beyond, would have been rather challenging. Suddenly, a bright light sparked in my teenage mind, and my heart decided to do it the easy way; at least that was the initial idea.

Brilliant! Just put a bale of hay at a time on the scooter’s luggage rack. A walk in the park! Well initially I did try two bales; loading them onto the back of the scooter with the mission of reducing the task by half, but it proved rather challenging to navigate a two-wheeled scooter with the front wheel pointing skywards. Ready for take-off? Scooters and hay bales are not exactly made for such adventures.

Driving up and down the field at quite a pace (for a teenager there is only one speed: fast). A few trips and the bales were mounting up rather well in the barn. Even one bale at a time and ‘flying’ to and from the other field, the bale run was almost accomplished.

Then, loaded with yet another bale of hay, belting along the grass field, a seemingly invisible force bordering on what could have been a primary barrier or event horizon leading to a different space-time continuum, lifted the front of the scooter skywards as if sending the scooter and myself up and up at the speed of light into the stratosphere, heading for the Infinite Universe.

The bale of hay went flying (well it fell off the rack, but it felt as though it was escaping the wrath of Nature). Then suddenly, like a catapult, the scooter powering away at full throttle, yours truly hanging on for dear life as if trying to remain on the saddle of a runaway horse, and faced with choosing a trip to the Universe, or a sudden landing, the scooter flew backwards as if a primary force was preventing access to the field with the diminishing number of hay bales.

At the time; perhaps the Universe possessed intuitive vibes and vibration from the scooter’s howling engine. Thank goodness the scooter had a windscreen. Not the most trendy accessory in the sixties; there being mods and rockers and in those days a windscreen would have been seen as over-safe suggesting the owner feared the wind and rain.

Never the twain shall meet. Time to ’bale’ out as if it was the last straw (apologies for the pun).

Then experiencing what seemed to be a force beyond planet Earth’s gravitational pull or perhaps the Moon’s tidal force having moved inland to play games with a mere human daring to encroach upon its territory, I eventually came to earth.

Eventually, after what seemed to be a lifetime suspended in a zero-gravity environ, the scooter relaxed and came thumping down to reality. Now reality was not such a pleasing scenario! Until it dawned upon me that reality was a continued existence.

I had escaped brutal decapitation (well in theory, more of a ripping yarn).

Having missed the gap in the fence, and not even seeing it, I had flown into the barbed wire; almost invisible behind the plastic windscreen. Then experiencing what seemed to be a force beyond planet Earth’s gravitational pull or perhaps the Moon’s tidal force having moved inland to play games with a mere human daring to encroach upon its territory, I eventually came to earth.

Taking a few moments to reflect upon the near off-the-scooter maelstrom potentially sending me spiraling up then down into a vortex of illusional terror, I rose to the surface wondering whether it was an out-of-body experience. On seeing the enormous gashes on the windscreen, the full horror of the potential disaster came home to my mind like a thump on the head by a flying hay bale of hay. Well, what else?

Now the moral of the story is, although optimum to make hay while the sun shines, trying to fly through a barbed wire fence without a windscreen would have potentially released my soul and dispatched me to Heaven; well as a teenager, naturally.

And what would I be told on arrival at Heaven’s door? Or at least the screening.

“Hay! Wire you here? Do you expect to be ‘baled’ out?”

Down to earth and time to reflect! I drove back gently, the scars of carrying a bale of hay through barbed wire, visibly ‘resplendent’ on the windscreen for all to see. But would anyone believe my story? It would be more credible to say that a giant eagle had attacked me.

On popping in to say goodbye to Grandma, she thanked me for completing the job and commented that it must have been warm work as my face was red and glowing like a torch in the darkness! And where did that eagle come from? Well, where eagles dare, angels fear to tread.

All I can say is, God drives a motor scooter. Later in life, it became obvious that God preferred to drive a 4 litre Jeep Cherokee, And that reminds me of another anecdote…


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Simon Lever
Simon Lever
Prior to his retirement, Simon engaged in software and services sector search and recruitment for American companies around Europe. He has retained the enjoyment of engaging with people from other countries and cultures. His energies are now directed towards voluntary community activities, journaling, and exhibition stewardship. He is a Featured Contributor for BizCatalyst 360°. As an Exhibition Steward, at the 1000-year-old Winchester Cathedral, he is responsible for guiding visitors from the world over, around the award-winning 'Kings and Scribes Exhibition', which includes the 900-year-old Winchester Bible. The exhibition introduces visitors to Winchester's historical significance as a former capital of England. Simon's journaling activities are published on BizCatalyst 360° and accompanying posts on LinkedIn, He acknowledges the inspiration afforded him by Carol Campos of Massachusetts: Life Strategist, Writer, and Intuitive Business Leader who introduced him to writing with feeling; from the heart. Simon's forté is creative writing; the accent on the natural environment, transforming feelings, emotions, sights, sounds, and scents of Mother Nature's landscape; hills and rivers and woodland into words, transporting the reader to the locations. Essays include accounts of his life in former days. Instinctively writing in such a spontaneous manner, descriptions become life-like. His often emotionally charged writing, whether describing a surreal 'Son et Lumière' at the Grand Place in Brussels to experiences acquired during European business travel. Journaling and Exhibition Steward activities are his key sources of inspiration and creativity. Kindness is ever more important, where he is a promoter of Shelly Elsliger PPCC's 'Decide to be Kind' Campaign. Simon champions Positivity, Empathy, and Kindness and has been described as a 'Beacon of Positivity'.

6 CONVERSATIONS

  1. Oh gravity! This was an all too relatable read, Simon.

    I knew of a guy who did a similar stunt – without hay – with a motor boat and realized too late that he shouldn’t go between the posts where the fishing nets were hung out. It didn’t end well. So you were very lucky to live to tell about it.
    And not without a dose of black humor – that is one of the ways we can cope with such close calls.

    • Dear Charlotte,
      Thank you for your comments. I guess optimistically at that age a ‘high flyer’!
      Your comments are always welcome.
      Than you so much.
      Let us hope the weather allows a trip beside the river. See you there! Metaphorically but in spirit.
      Simon

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