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