Don’t get any ideas, guys and gals!
If there’s anything I am allowed to do as a farmer, this is it. 🙂
Why? Read on.
During my first few years of stay here, I had several episodes of being an ass. Back then, I was still attached to my propensity for bragging like most city dwellers do locally. That feeling of superiority over rural folks and always mentioning the claim that we could do almost anything.
Well, someone did try to test that claim.
invited dared (actually) to try a few tasks a genuine rice farmer should learn to be considered earning the tag. One of them was to use a plow to cultivate a piece of land.
Just like eating a piece of cake, right?
Have you seen the movie The Patriot, where Mel Gibson’s character cultivated his corn farm using a wooden plow as it was being pulled by a large cow? In my case, it was a metal plow and a tame carabao (water buffallo).
I was nervous (of course) but I did not show it. To be seen as weak was half the battle lost. I had to prove I could do it.
If the pressure was too much when I accepted the challenge, the appearance of bystanders increased the factor ten fold. I became the center of attraction. (I heard later they even took bets whether I could do it or not.)
The show must go on, as they often say. 🙂
The first few meters was all right, the handling felt smooth and the carabao knew its role better than I did. I glanced at the crowd and I saw some of them applauding.
Then, something went sour: the carabao stood still. It would not budge an inch. I was afraid the hysterical laughter from the audience would follow. Thankfully, it was all in my head.
I removed the harness that attached the plow to the animal to be safe. There was something preventing the beast of burden to move forward.
I checked the spot the plow stopped, considering the carabao stood there still, in front of me. I did not want to get a kick out of it (pun intended).
The crowd gasped. Some of them shouted and warned me of what was going to happen. But their voices blended like a concerted noise: I was not able to understand what they were shouting about.
Oh my God! I exclaimed. (Was it a swear?)
The carabao, with all of its magnanimous gesture, decided to disgorge off its “natural” fertilizer. (I am very sorry if some of you are eating while reading this.) Remember, it was in front of me! I mean, its back was in front of me!
An old man, a real farmer, ran to my rescue. He carried a bucket of water. But instead of handing it to me, he hauled it up and gave me a quick bath.
Well, many followed with their own buckets of water. You might try to imagine they looked like dousing a fire. I was it.