Mowing grass this time of year and with the amount of rain we've been having is an arduous task. I am driving a Kabota, full-size tractor with a five or six foot finish mower behind. On a good day when I don't bash into a fence post or tree, I can accomplish the task in a minmum of four hours. But when the horses can't keep up with "mowing" their own pastures, I must get out there and cut their grass, too, just to make it manageable. That one pasture, alone, takes me two hours. So, one day a week must be devoted to cutting grass for six hours on this eight-acre farm. And I won't even mention the weed-whacking around the fence posts and trees.
Yet I do my chores here because I love this place and love, in a strange way, all the work it takes to keep it going and looking pristine. It doesn't matter that at the end of my mowing stint I'm sweaty, sticky, and icky all over. I have lovingly coiffed my farmland. Passersby can only note that the person living here loves her property and all that goes with taking care of it.
So, the other day when I began the first hour of mowing, I unexpectedly came upon Skippy who was eating some of the farmer's alfalfa next to my patch. When he heard the diesel chugging toward him, he became alarmed, probably thinking he was being a bad boy for sneaking alfalfa and that this big machine was coming to forcibly remove him from the field. I laughed to myself as I kept driving towards him, and he looked each way, honing in on the sound of the tractor so that he could decide how to escape. And I just kept going on my cutting route around the woods. I certainly wasn't going to run him over with the tractor. But he didn't know that.
I could see Skippy about fifty feet ahead of me, listening and deciding what to do about being caught between the alfalfa field and my tractor. And, then, I could see that he had made a decision for escape. Very deliberately he turned toward the woods, away from the alfalfa field, and began a slow bee-line towards the trees. He took the shortest path--straight across--and before the tractor crossed his footsteps, he was already safely inside the woods where no loud machine could reach him. Skippy's mad dash to the woods entertained me for the rest of the day.