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W-9 out to Pasture

Late in the summer, about five years ago, I first laid eyes on what would be my most favorite tractor. It looked so large to a small 8-year old. The large, snarled grille looked big and frightening. It was so rusted that it looked ready to roll away at any minute. I walked aroung to the side of it and there I saw the W-9 decal. That night I could not get that name W-9 out of my head. The next couple yars or so, I still had not forgotten that wierd looking machine. So, after a music lesson, I begged my dad to take me to see the animals at the farm. I cared more about the W-9 than the goats. When we arrived, I got out of the car and ran to the animal pen. I spent a couple minutes there before sprinting towards the W-9. There she was, looming like a ghost ship from a past time. I got closer and was overwhelmed by the smell of burnt grease and rubber. I walked around and sat in what remained of the seat and touched the steering wheel. The black coating came off on my hand which made my mom mad. Two or three years went by and I never saw the W-9 again. Then, last summer after a hiking trip to Hawkins Pond, I pestered my parents to take me to the farm where the W-9 resided. I was then OBSESSED with the -4, -6 and -9 series tractors. I had all the brocures and manuals. When we got there, we now drove up the dirt road to the W-9. It almost brought a tear to my eye at what state my W-9 was in. Rusted, broken, overgrown. I walked around, gently touching the 50 year old hood, steering wheel even the firing order stamped into the cast-iron block. I sat in the seat and turned the wheel and watched the drag-links turn the front wheels. I got down and returned to the car. Next week, I read all the tractor books I could get my hands on. Then I asked my parents if I could buy her. They laughed and thought I had lost my mind. I asked them more and more and the answer was always the same: NO! So when I attended a tractor show I saw two men walking around what I considered to be 'my' W-9. What I heard next almost made me bleed from my ears. The two men were talking about scrapping her. I almost ran over to them and said 'No! go find another tractor to scrap, this one's mine!' Of course they were from P.A. I watched them with the eyes of a hawk as they got into their truck. My parents made jokes about how bad the W-9 was they said if I wanted a tractor, they wanted me to get a good W-9. I said, almost to the point of tears: 'I don't want a good machine, I want that W-9'. That made me more than ever want to restore the old girl. She is still there and in three years, if she is still there, I will be able to go up to her and say: 'Your hard life is over, you are coming home with me.'

IHStandardMan, NY, entered 2009-02-18
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