As us boys grew older we were given real chores at the dairy. As soon as you were able to cut the wires off the bales of hay you had a job. The youngest would steer the tractor, Dad would place bales of hay in front of the cows, one of us would cut the wires, the next would remove the wires, and then the biggest would wield the pitch fork to feed the cows their hay.
My older brother Ed had moved into the job of milking cows so it became was my job to pitch the hay. I must have been about 10 or 11. Dad had reminded me to be careful with the fork. I remembered him coming into the house with a sock full of blood because he had stuck himself with the fork once.
I thought I was being careful, but I managed to stick myself too. I rammed the fork into bale swinging from right to left only to have the outside tine go through my boot and become lodge into the front of my leg about six inches below the knee. I couldn’t believe it. It was stuck there! I jerked it out hardly believing that that had happened. I quickly kicked off my boot to see the blood running down to my sock. I bent over and held my thumb over the hole and walked that way home thinking that I was seriously injured.
When I approached the house I yelled for Mom to rescue me. She came out to see me on the porch and said, “You too”. I learned then that Ed did that once as well. Mom patched me up and sent me back out to finish up the feeding then off to get a tetanus shot. That hurt more than the fork. Always be careful with sharp objects.