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Why 9-year-old girls cant drive tractors.

Our local Ford dealer sent a TW-5 sized tractor with FWA to my house for a demo. It had the Genesis shifting arrangement and clutch control on a joystick. I appreciated their effort, but I am kind of a hard nose, and I didn't want to give up my 9700, even for a few days. However, this was the perfect tractor for my daughter,who always wanted to help around the farm, but she couldn't hold the clutch down on the 9700 and shift at the same time. So I hitched the culti-mulcher for her and showed her what to do, and for the first time in years I had two tractors in the field and really making some progress. She proved to be a very capable operator. I was on the other side of the field with a disk and Harrogator, when I noticed she wasn't moving. When I got to her, she was walking along the ditch bank. I said 'Uh, what are you doing?' She replied, 'I wanted to pick some of these flowers for Mom'. I thought, 'Well, that won't hurt anything'. I returned to my work and Iva got back in her tractor after she made her delivery. We hammered along for another hour when I noticed she was stopped again. When I got there she was walking very slowly, staring down at the ground like she had lost something. 'Now what's the matter?' I asked, with a little less patience than I had before. 'There's a mouse running around here and I'm trying to get him out of the way'. I tried to explain that the mouse would run from the noise of the tractor but she wasn't buying it. So we spent the next 45 minutes chasing that mouse, in a zig-zag pattern, out of the center of a 20 acre field. I tried several times to make her believe the mouse found his hole and was safely out of the way, but she has eyes like a red-tail hawk, and would scream, 'There he is!' When we reached the edge of the woods and the mouse disappeared into safety, Iva was satisfied. Today, 17 years later, I always remember that day while I'm putting up a marker to plant around a killdeer's nest, or stopping the tractor to let a mouse cross my path.

Fritz Maurer, OH, entered 2017-03-19
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