Today was a day unlike any other. As I sit here recapping the day’s events, I can only conclude that either the planets are aligned or the “signs” are right. My first job was to replace a post in the yard fence that the cows broke off over a month ago. Since we had finally gotten some good fall rains, I was hoping the rocks would dig a little easier than back in July. I had been dreading it, but this cool morning seemed like just the right time. I dug the entire hole, two feet deep, and never hit a single rock! People who know where I live will think I’m lying, but I swear that it’s true. After replacing the broken post, I proceeded to shovel dirt around it and, much to my surprise, there was more than enough dirt to fill the hole. Any farmer knows that never happens.
After that extraordinary set of circumstances, my wife called from her office in town with an urgent request. She needed me to bring her an item that she needed desperately. I agreed, and tried not to act snippy. The truth was, I needed to get the hay raked and baled before the forecasted rain moved in for the middle of the afternoon. Oh well, there was a heavy dew on, and I probably couldn’t start raking before the time it would take me to get to town and back, anyway. Quickly, I grabbed the item and sped off toward her office. There are six traffic lights between the freeway exit and my wife’s office, and I hit every one of them on green!
Back at the farm by 11 a.m., I checked the hay and decided it was dry enough to begin raking and, then skipping lunch, I was able to have the field raked by 1 p.m. I could see the dark skies beginning to form in the northwest, so I hurriedly switched tractors and headed to the field with the baler in tow. Baling in one gear higher than normal, I kept one eye on the baler and the other on the even darker clouds that were boiling up beyond the horizon. What happened next defied the odds of farming as the buzzer (indicating the round bale is fully formed and ready to wrap) sounded at exactly the same time I reached the end of the last windrow. As long as I’ve been farming and making hay with a round baler, I can never remember having the chamber full as I finished the last row. Then, as I pulled the hydraulic lever to dump the very last, fully-formed bale, the first huge raindrop of the impending storm hit the windshield of the tractor.
It sprinkled on me all the way to the barn where I unhooked from the baler to store it until next spring. As I pulled out of the barn and headed toward home, the heavens opened up and proceeded to dump a half-inch of rain over the next 15 minutes. It was raining so hard, the wipers of the tractor couldn’t even keep up with the intensity. As I approached the open gate I cringed, for I could see the entire herd of cows and calves gathering not 20 feet from sweet, bovine freedom. I was afraid my good luck was over, but lo and behold, the cows were just humped up, taking in the rain, and not a single one had attempted to go out the open gate. What was going on in my life?
When I got back to the house, I began to think about all the good luck I had incurred throughout the day. I was on a roll and not about to let this streak of good luck go to waste. I hopped in the truck and took off for the local convenience store to buy a lottery ticket. As I returned, I pulled into my driveway and noticed my cow dog chewing on something out in the yard. As I got closer, I could see the brown feathers of one of my wife’s Rhode Island Reds. The rainstorm had blown open the door to their coop and Grizz was enjoying his version of KFC. My wife would be furious when she got home and my entire day of good fortune would be ruined.
I scolded Grizz, grabbed what was left of the hen, raked up the mangled feathers, and headed for the fence post that I had replaced earlier in the morning. I dug a hole right beside the new post and covered the chicken remnants with that lucky, leftover dirt. Knowing that Judy never counts her chickens made me realize my luck would continue.
Jerry Crownover is a farmer and former professor of Agriculture Education at Missouri State University. He is a native of Baxter County, Arkansas, and an author and professional speaker. To contact Jerry call 1-866-532-1960 or visit and click on ‘Contact Us.’


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