While I was driving the countryside in search of fodder for Texansunited.com, I spied an old rusted-out tractor, an antique for sure by today’s standards, and yet this antique suffered the indignity of being used as a Christmas decoration.
By its dejected stance, I knew immediately just how humiliated this one-time King of the Field felt as I pulled to the side of the road for a short visit, letting the old machine bemoan the fact that an entire generation of children has now grown up, never really knowing about him and the glory that was once his.
No, in this world of modern tractors that are as tall as our houses with enclosed cabs, air conditioning, and radio, young people have no idea what it really was to ride the tractor all day long with nothing showing white by evening except the whites of the eyes.
The old tractor went on to remind me that it wasn’t just in the field that he had played such an important role. No, in days gone by thousands of children actually learned how to drive on the tractor. By the time they were old enough to get a license, the children of the tractor were already experienced drivers who understood the meaning of horsepower, and just how dangerous it can be.
Don’t get me wrong. The old tractor doesn’t want to return to work; he spent many very, very hard years doing that. No, it’s not work that he wants at all. When it is all said and done, the tractor only wants what the rest of us want. He wants to be remembered.
And maybe more than that, he just wants to know that he made a difference. That’s not too much for any of us to ask, is it?