The Stump

 The Whirligig 301

Prompt words in red.

Pulling a stump Marlborough Historical Society Collections -
Marlborough Museum

I shivered.

It’s after midnight, far too late to be out working.  The horses are lathered up good, sweating and steaming from exertion, tethered to the stump by chains.  I had to fell the tree two autumns ago.  It had been here for generations, but in the end time gets us all. 

I hear ol’ Bruce’s tooth clicking the bit, shaking his head, which tells me he’s getting irritated.  But, I have to get that son-of-a-bee out by five this morning so we can plow the soil for planting.

The persistent pulling, pulling, pulling, of the horses brings to mind that book I’d read last year, about the whale hunters.  Tugging the harpoon from their massive bodies must have been like this.  Something’s bound to give eventually… the stump, the horses, my patience.  Probably all three. 

A single star hangs in the sky.  It might not be a star; I heard once that the big bright one could be Venus.  Wouldn’t that be something? Imagine being able to see another planet, way out there in space! 

Sometimes I wonder if I’d rather have been born a townie.  I’d have been in my warm bed right now.  But, then, I wouldn't get to see Venus, so I reckon I got the better deal.    

   ©2021 Lisa Smith Nelson. All Rights Reserved



  1. What a great narrative from the farmer working alongside his horse.

    1. Thanks. I can't imagine the hard work farming is, even today with machinery.


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