If you’re going to be a farmer, you need to re-invest if you’re going to keep improving your operation. A new combine can cost a half million dollars, a big tractor a quarter of a million…you can spend money pretty fast. Hey, I know all about that sort of thing.
I had to buy a new pitchfork for the chicken coop.
I’ve never bought a new pitchfork before. Back when I had a bunch of hogs if I needed a pitchfork I’d go to a farm auction. On the first rack there would usually be a bundle of beat up pitchforks. Most of them would have cracked handles, but there would usually be at least one good one, well worth the $2.00 they would cost.
As long as we’re on the subject of auctions…what’s up with making up a bundle of pitchforks, a bundle of hand saws, etc., etc. Who needs six dull handsaws? Why not make piles with one pitchfork, one hammer, one saw, and one shovel? I mean, I know there are people who want to know who killed JFK, but personally, I’d really like to understand that auction thing.
Anyway, I had a pitchfork for cleaning the chicken coop but I think it was used to tend a fire or something similar, because all the temper was out of the tines. If you picked up something heavy they would droop sadly downward.
Not so useful.
Buying a new pitchfork was not an easy decision. What with the ducks scribbling graffiti on the walls and slopping through the water, the pen was a mess and needed to be cleaned. However, a new pitchfork cost $26.00. I get about three dozen eggs a week and I figure my net profit is about seven cents a dozen. To recoup my pitchfork investment is going to take me about two and a half years, and that’s if I don’t have any more raccoon issues. I stopped in and talked to my banker like I’ve done a thousand times before and he told me they’d be willing to stand behind me.
He didn’t say how far behind. I should have asked.
Don’t get me wrong. Unlike most of my equipment purchases in the past I didn’t actually have to borrow money to swing the deal. I had a little money put aside so I was able to just write a check for the whole amount. I tried not to swagger, but I think it’s permissible to take a little pride when years of hard work pays off with a measure of financial stability.
I hurried home with my purchase. We were having a small break in the weather and my manure shoveling experiences, going back to about 1968, have taught me that a thawing day in January is a jewel beyond price. I fired up the loader tractor and scurried down to the chicken coop with a scoop shovel and my brand new pitchfork. It worked splendidly and by dark I had the coop cleaned and the fowl rebidded in clean shavings. I glanced through the window and the soft gleam of the heat lamp showed contented birds nestling down in clean bedding right up to their giblets. I opened the door, searched out five fresh eggs and headed for the house.