Farmer Tait looked out at his fields of
oats, barley and flax. Nothing grew in a straight row. His crops
zigzagged all over the place. How was he ever going to harvest them when
they weren’t in a straight line? He decided right away that next year
he’d hire someone new to till his land.
The year past quickly.
Farmer Tait was able to harvest a lot, but not all of his crops. As
spring rolled around he knew it was time to find someone to plow. He
painted a sign, ‘Plower Wanted’ and hung it out on the wooden fence in
front of his house. That very day, a man named Donald came to the door.
"I saw your sign. I can till your crops for you," he said.
Farmer Tait wasn’t sure
if he believed him. "I’ve set a course up in the field. I want you to
take the till and plow in between the cones. If you can do it in a
straight line, I’ll hire you," he explained.
Donald nodded and went
into the field. There were orange cones around the edge of the field.
Farmer Tait had his two strong highland bulls hooked to the plow. "There
you go," Farmer Tait said. Donald went over and strung the straps around
his shoulders. He called to the bulls to start moving. Farmer Tait
waited at the other side of the field. He slipped on his ‘Inspector’
badge around his arm, grabbed a clipboard and some papers and waited. He
watched as Donald tilled his field, making notes and thinking.
Tired and dirty, Donald
finished. "What do you think?" he asked Farmer Tait.
He walked around,
examining the line. "No.This won’t do at all. The lines aren’t straight
enough. How can I harvest my crop if I have to go through lines that
crooked? Sorry, Donald, but you’re not the one," Farmer Tait explained.
Donald took the yoke off
and went home. Farmer Tait went back to his house, after petting his
highland bulls. The next day, when the doorbell rang, he saw his
neighbor, Niven, standing there. "I’m here to plow your field," Niven
Farmer Tait replied, "Are
you now? Donald down the lane was here. He couldn’t plow a straight
line. You think you can do better, eh?"
"Let’s give it a try,"
Farmer Tait explained
about the wee test he’d have to do. Niven had no problem with that. He
knew he’d do a good job. He strapped on the yoke, attaching himself to
the plow and started plowing between the cones. Farmer Tait went to the
other side of the field as before. When Niven finished, he walked up to
Farmer Tait. "Well, what do you think?"
Farmer Tait walked around
the field. He wrote things down on the papers in his clipboard. "Sorry,
won’t do. The lines aren’t straight enough," he told him. Niven shook
his head and went home.
Day after day men in the
village came to be tested. Surely one of them could plow straight. Day
after day Farmer Tait turned them away. He was getting concerned. If he
didn’t get those fields plowed soon, it would be too late for the oats,
rye and flax to grow to maturity before the cold weather set in.
Discouraged and tired, he sat in front of the fireplace, listening to
the wind howling. He went to bed wondering what he was going to do. When
he woke up in the morning, he went outside. It was a beautiful morning.
The sky was blue and there was no wind. When he walked into the field,
the two bulls walked over to him. An idea came to Farmer Tai’s mind. Why
didn’t he try plowing his fields? After all, they were his fields, not
Donald’s, not Niven’s, and not any one else’s. So he strapped on the
plow and moved through the dirt. The plow was heavy, but the bulls
pulled it along well.
When he finished he
turned and looked back. The line was straight! He went down another row.
He turned and looked back. That line was straight too! Before he knew
it, he’d done the entire field himself. "The oats will go in this one,"
he said, feeling proud of himself. The next day he plowed the field
where the rye would go. The day after that he plowed the field where the
flax would be planted.
Farmer Tait planted the
seed and watered it. One day he noticed tiny green stalks growing in the
very straight rows. As summer went on, the oats, rye and flax grew tall.
Farmer Tait felt very proud and very happy. He had huge crops this year
and he had done all the work himself! From then on Farmer Tait didn’t
waste time trying to find someone to do the work for him. He always did
it himself and he always had the best crop in the village.