One of my cousins recently posted on my Facebook page a picture of my granddaddy sitting on a horse cart with a mule hitched to it. He looked cool sitting up there. Grandmother has written on the back of the picture that it was a horse, but plainly it can be seen that it wasn’t Old Joe as the horse was called. As a young child I do remember my granddaddy had a horse and a mule as well as a cow. Being raised on a farm had the experience of seeing and caring for various animals.
We had the three above animals, as well as chickens, pigs and guinees. At some point we had two types of chickens. We had Rhode Island Reds and a smaller yet more formidable group of bantam chickens that roamed free. I say formidable because they would attack if provoked and believe me I remember getting too close one day and one of the roosters “flogged” me good. It was all beak and claws I’d say.
To get back to the picture of note here, I rode in that cart on occasions. It was fun to sit on the back with my feet hanging off the back, letting them swing back and forth as the cart bounced with the gait of the horse as it walked down the road. Sometimes granddad would slap the reigns on the horse’s back end and put Old Joe into a gallop. What a ride with the dust of the old sandy dirt road kicking up.
After my granddad passed my dad took over those reigns, but by that time we’d gotten shed of the horse and mule, so dad would borrow a horse and cart from a neighbor, Sam Walls, down in the back woods. He would borrow his horse to pull the drag in the tobacco fields before we bought tobacco trucks, as we called them. They had wheels on them. A drag was the same kind of thing only they were on sleds. The horse would drag them around behind them in the tobacco field, when we were harvesting tobacco.
Once we got the tobacco trucks we no longer had horses or mules around. I missed that. But I had found a new interest. A Farmall Cub tractor. I learned to drive that at age seven and that changed my world.