Playing in the Cotton and Hay.
Then there were the two barns that were close to the house. The one nearest was built upon a high round hill. The bottom or basement part was open out storage sheds on both sides. I guess you could say the ground floor or what was built on top of the hill was storage bins or rooms on each side with the middle of the barn being open enough for a tractor and trailer to drive through the barn from front to back. At the top of the barn was all open and used for hay storage. I remember really disliking this barn during hay season because you had to get the hay off the trailers and all the way up into the top of the barn. That was some backbreaking work. The second barn was about 150 yard away from the house and was by far the biggest. From the middle part of the barn to the front was all hay storage and it was a large large area. All around the back and sides of the barn were stalls and storage areas. Back at that time we had four horses and three Shetland ponies that stayed in the stalls.
Now that the lay of the land is somewhat done, I remember when my friend M would come over. One thing we used to love to do was dive bomb the cotton trailers. The rafters in the storage shed were pretty high and we would get to the top and try to do flips down into the trailer filled with cotton. I remember when I’d land in the cotton I would just seem to keep on sinking down into it. I actually think landing in the cotton was much softer than any landing I’d ever done in water. Anyhow, I’m still surprised we didn’t break out necks trying to do flip from that high into the cotton trailers.
Then there were the barns. M and I would go into where all the hay bales were stacked. The hay bales were the old rectangular one and not like the huge rolled round ones like today. We would play at mountain climbing on the bales. The big barn was so large that we climb up 25-30 feet to the top. It was fun getting to the top as fast as you could and then jumping from bale to bale to move all over the barn. One time when we were feeling very unslackerly we decided to make a castle out of the bales. We did the best we could, but I remember we made a crawl space going out from the castle. One day my older brother had been giving us a hard time, and M always with the smart mouth taunted him to the point of him wanting to beat the heck out of us. I don’t know why, but M’s smart mouth always seemed to get me into trouble too. Anyway we hightail it to the barn and make it to the castle. My brother starts to climb up to the castle, and we start pushing bales of hay down at him. From that height and angle they rolled pretty good and had a little bit of speed to them. When we had gotten the last one down on him we jump into one of the crawl space and pulled in a bale to close if off. We could hear my brother yelling at us and telling us what he was going to do when he caught us. We were inside the crawl space giggling and whispering to each other that he would never find us. There was one thing we didn’t think about though. The crawl space was pitch dark and hot, very hot. We thought my brother would go off looking for us, but he didn’t. He stayed there yelling he knew we were hiding somewhere and we couldn’t get out without him seeing us. M and I sat in the dark and sweated and sweated and sweated. So after what felt like hours, and I’m sure it wasn’t more than 10 or 15 minutes, we come baling out of the crawl space gasping for air and soaked in sweat. I was ready to take the beating I knew my brother could give to us just to breathe some fresh air and to cool off. My brother really surprised me that day. Instead of tearing into us, he saw how pitiful we looked and took pity on us. He got us out of the barn to the nearest water faucet and made us start drinking water, not that we needed that much prodding at the time. Like I said though, my brother surprised me because his usual course of action was to rain havoc down on us.
M and I escaped my brother’s wrath that day and we continued to dive bomb the cotton and climb the hay bales, but we never went back into the crawl space. We had learned our lesson on that one. I’ve thought many times before that I had a pretty good childhood. Living out on the farm you had to come up with different things to do or play. I had many wonderful carefree days and a lot of fun doing stuff as simple as jumping into a trailer of cotton or climbing bales of hay.