When Wesley ran over his wife with the farm tractor it was hilarious. Not that it wasn’t a tragedy, but Wesley couldn’t help but see the irony in the situation. He was sure Cassandra would have seen the funny side as well. If she was still alive.
He had just taken the tractor out of the shed, apparently to feed out some hay to the cows. Cassandra was hanging out the washing on the line at the back of the house. She was hanging out the ham bag at the time. The ham bag was a cotton bag to put the leg of ham inside to keep it moist. They had just finished their Christmas ham, so the bag was in need of a heavy rinse. And at that precise moment of her hanging out the ham bag, WHAM! Wesley ran over her with the tractor. There was blood all over the place, including on the ham bag! On the ham bag! It had just been rinsed of bits of meat, and look at it now! It was hilarious.
Wesley drove the tractor back into the shed and went off to the pub to get totally drunk. Cassandra would no longer be leaving him for Farmer Judd next door.
My late husband made this woodshed many, many years ago. It was very handy, not just for the wood, but I used to pot my house plants in there as well. My husband was very patient; he didn’t mind if I made a mess with the potting mix.
Of course the woodshed has other memories too. It was where my nephew Bartholomew accidentally injured his hand while cutting up kindling to start a fire. And it was where Virgil, a ward of the State we were looking after for the summer, set fire to a pile of old newspapers and just about burnt the whole place down. Thank goodness almost everything was made of corrugated iron. And then there was the time we caught a rat in the rat trap cage and Rocky – that was my husband – was away at a work weekend and I was too scared to go near the rat cage because of the rat. So the poor thing had to stay in the cage for several days. I kept throwing a jug of water on the cage thinking if it got thirsty it could lick the droplets off the cage wire.
So now, years later, I’ve had the shed bulldozed over. It wasn’t a bulldozer; it was a big tractor with huge fork-prong things in the front. The workmen were busy on the road that goes past my house, so I went out and put my hand up in the air for the tractor to stop when I saw it coming. I said, “Look, I’m an eighty-five year old widow and I have this woodshed that I don’t use anymore because I have a heat pump, and it’s starting to get dangerous. Every time there’s a gale I think it’s going to blow over into the house. I was wondering if you could drive the tractor onto my property and push the shed over.”
He said, “Of course lady. That’s no trouble and will only take a minute. The boss doesn’t need to know.”
So he drove the tractor into the wood shed and pushed it over like it was a pile of dead leaves. I was very grateful, and then he drove off.
I was wondering; what is an eighty-five year old widow meant to do with a huge amount of corrugated iron? It’s lying all over the place and the next wind it’s going to kick up bobsy-dye.
Look at the state of our hedge. All up the driveway. It’s never been cut properly.
Mrs Iris Witten was talking to her husband, Rodney.
You work as a professional hedge cutter, and look at the state of the hedge on our driveway. Everyone else has beautiful manicured hedges and ours is a mess. It’s typical. You never lift a finger to tidy the hedge on our drive.
Rodney had a big tractor with one of those extendable arms with gigantic whirling blades. It could cut through hedge branches like they weren’t there. With his wife nagging all the time he might as well trim the hedge, even though it didn’t really need doing. His wife came to watch.
You’ve missed a bit there, Rodney. It’ll be an eyesore. You haven’t missed bits when you did the neighbour’s. And is that bit there quite straight? The neighbour’s hedge is perfect, so why are you doing a sloppy job with ours?
Rodney moved the arm of the cutter back.
Over here! Over here! instructed Mrs Iris Witten, pointing to a bit of hedge near her that she thought looked crooked. Over here! Over here!