Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A glimpse into "Under the Heavens"

        An Amish man appeared, walking toward them on the road.  When the man got within earshot, he called, “Sam, David, you boys are just on time!  My tractor is stuck, and I was going home to get my horses to pull it out. Why don’t we see if your grandpa’s horses can do it?”  Without saying any more, the older man jumped into the wagon alongside Lenny.  Sam headed his wagon through the nearest gate into a field, where they found a tractor half sunk in mud.
        “Whose boy are you?” The Amish man looked at Lenny, waiting for an answer. The boy’s face got hot; he didn't know how to answer that question.  Sam bailed him out by answering, “He is Jake’s stepson.”  The man gave a disapproving look, and nothing more was said.  Lenny assumed the Amish man already knew about him.
        They pulled up beside the helpless tractor; everyone jumped out and, in a few moments, they had both massive horses unhooked from the wagon, in place and ready to pull.  This was something Lenny hadn't seen before.  Sam held his horses in check as the older man mounted his tractor, starting it up with a pop, causing both horses to jump.  Lenny doubted these animals could pull out a heavy-metal  machine.

In a scene that filled his heart with wonder, both horses arched their massive black necks and heaved forward.  Muscles rippled in their shoulders and rumps and coursed down through their heavy boned legs.  One of the giants shook his thick mane and snorted as though gathering his strength, which seemed to spur on the other.  These horses dug their hooves in mud as the tractor wheels spun a little, and then took hold, spinning up out of holes it created when attempting to free itself.  Sam called his horses to a stop when the tractor rolled onto solid ground.

Lenny found himself letting out a victory shout when it happened, and the others all looked at him as if to see what was wrong.  Without much more than a nod, the older man drove off to finish his fieldwork as soon as the horses were unhooked.  His cousins hitched them to the wagon again,without a comment, they headed back down the road.  Lenny couldn't keep quiet anymore,“Wow, that was amazing!” he called from his luggage seat in the back.  Sam and David both turned and looked at him as though surprised to hear him speak. “That was so cool! Is that the first time you've had horses pull out a tractor?”  Both Amish boys gave Lenny a blank look.
          After a long, awkward silence, finally, the older brother spoke up, “Everyone around here knows Grandpa’s horses; they've pulled out lots more than tractors!”

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