Last August, Melanie (that's her in plaid, above) and I took a drive to have a look at a 1947 Farmall Cub for sale down in Rochester MN. It turned out to be a pretty good tractor, just what we were looking for to tend our tiny farm and slave labor camp just north of Glencoe. Larry (the owner) was a heck of a nice guy and explained the details of the tractor and it’s history of ownership. It started right up but was stubborn because of dirt in the carburetor. While Larry and his mechanic Chuck fussed over the Cub we had a chance to look around the place, see all Larry’s animals and play with his friendly little dog Dixie. Dixie was a new mother and was still nursing a cute litter of pups. She also liked to snoop around chasing mice and whatever else she could find.
At last the Cub sprang to life and this time it kept running. We were satisfied, made an offer and left on good terms with Larry promising to let us know one way or the other.
As we were idling out of the driveway, I was watching the speed bumps and did not notice little Dixie running full speed from the ditch to chase the car. I hit the brakes but it was too late. THUMP! I had run over poor little Dixie!
A couple of loud yaps later, Dixie jumped up and ran to Larry on three legs. We were in hot pursuit horrified to find out if we were mommy dog murderers.
As it turns out, Larry is a Veterinarian and did not seem the least bit worried. He gave Dixie a thorough examination and pronounced her OK with the worst damage being missing fur on her ribcage, a sore foot and a mild case of shock. Larry reassured us again as we offered to pay for any medication.
We left again but this time at a snails pace out the driveway. As we left we recounted the story Larry had told us earlier about why his wife built the speed bumps in the driveway. It seems that a distraught dog owner was in a hurry to get his dog to the Vet. Larry said, “He had come rolling in the driveway going too fast and ran over our GOOD dog. ” Now I had run over little Dixie. We were sure we would never hear from Larry or see that tractor again.
A month later, we received a phone call from Larry who again reassured us Dixie was OK and the Cub was still for sale. We re-negotiated a price, which included all the implements (6!) and delivery. To say we were surprised would be an understatement.
Two weeks later, delivery day rolled around and Larry showed up with the Cub tucked into a horse trailer along with all the goodies. We unloaded, had some hot cocoa, took some photos, told some tall tales and came away realizing we could not have bought a tractor from a nicer guy.
We shook hands and as Larry hopped back into his truck, I spotted a Black Lab and Dixie!
“Don’t you want to let them out for a bit” I said wondering about the long ride.
“No!” he said, “They’ll be fine!” and with that, he was gone.
Can’t say I blame him.
Jon Sharratt, MN, entered 2000-11-08
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