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Threshing Day Ciaran’s Way.

Threshing should be completed before November comes in and Ciaran left it to the last minute - October 30th to be exact. The news that ‘the trasher’ was coming seemed to go round the three parishes like wildfire judging by the number of spectators who arrived. Most of them went around with their hands in their pockets and spoke as if they knew what they were talking about. Some of them did not even know the difference between a ‘trasher’ and a flail and most of them never saw raw corn.

A number of vintage tractors arrived and then the big machine itself. It had to be levelled, to the wonderment of some and it was a lengthy process to get the whole thing set up according to others. The owners also raised an eye when they were confronted with the ‘rick’ of corn to be threshed or at least put through the process. Luckily there was a second load of ‘real corn’ on site and they knew it would work.

Ciaran’s corn was a dark brown from over weathering while the imported crop was a golden yellow. Denis offered the explanation - the golden corn was for cornflakes but Ciaran’s corn would be used for Coco Pops. At last Denis got his Major in line and the belts began to move. Raymond was mesmerised at such a marvellous invention - it could even separate the grain into three different qualities and it did not have a computer on board. Someone asked Ciaran where that Raymond boy came from and was told - he came inside the thresher.

Meanwhile Mackie arrived by bicycle and proceeded to set up his Baler, which he had prepared earlier. Initially it would not tie the bales properly and the expert eyes and hands of Peter and Ciaran eile stared blankly at the baler until Mackie used his extensive knowledge to get it working properly. It was just in time as Blain was gradually disappearing under a  mountain of straw which was being kicked out of the ‘trasher’. Eugene, Patrick, Ryan and about ten others were in charge of vermin obliteration but their services were not called on. Another Ciaran still, Raymond, Denis, John and Mackie took turns at feeding while Peter and Enda tossed the sheaves to them but once again Raymond did more than his share and everyone was prepared to stand back and marvel at a master at work, but it was Peter’s nifty pick-up, his easy swing and his effortless launch that most impressed the judges. To get the ball rolling Pat and Jim rendered their version of ‘The Threshing Machine’.

That field was full of willing people - a small number willing to work and the rest willing to watch them. Even when, in the throes of getting the ‘trasher’ levelled, Ciaran broke the spade handle through over exertion all but he laughed. It is reported that the owner of the spade did not laugh either when he heard the news. Headstone erection will be delayed until it is replaced.

The sun shone and the dust rose and the bags filled and the corn became bales of straw. The ‘trasher’ did its job to perfection as did the ladies and the chef, who had prepared a dear, or is that deer, repast washed down with a rhyming liquid. Those who worked hard that day slept well that night or was it the Birthday Party which helped them sleep. Thanks to Red, Jimmy, Mick and JP for their assistance on the day.

Cutting the ‘corn’ HERE