Coping with mother nature.
|Farmer Beckly had never seen the sun blocked by the moon. If he knew how to spell eclipse he probably would have used that in his note to the Sheriff. But, he didn't, so he just wrote that he had been out in the south forty with his horse, Dangit, his plow (no name) and a field dried into a thick, hard crust by the unrelenting power of the Oklahoma sun, when the phenomenon (he didn't know how to spell that, either, so he wrote "dangdest thing" instead)presented itself in full force.
His full intent for that particular day was to plow the field, feed the stock, soak his feet in hot water and quench his thirst with his own special corn liquor. This was not to be. A sudden wind with all the fury and strength of the depression-era dust bowl variety, ripped across the already plowed portion of Beckly's south forty, turning the dirt into dust. At precisely that moment, the moon began its passage across the path of the sun, and noon turned into midnight.
Unaware of what was happening, farmer Beckly stared straight ahead as his world began to fade from bright to dim to black. "Dangit!" Beckly shouted at his horse. "I done gone and went blind!" The horse, of Arabian descent, couldn't understand one word of English so it ignored Beckly's comments and continued to plod ahead pulling the plow behind it, and Beckly behind that. By the time the moon had passed the sun, and the horse had passed some gas, Beckly had passed out.
Dangit didn't have the faintest idea of Beckly's condition so he just finished the plowing for the day and headed back to the barn.
When Beckly finally regained consciousness, he raced into his house, forgot about feeding the stock or soaking his feet, and concentrated on quenching his thirst. It took only half of the bottle to calm farmer Beckly's nerves enough for him to write to the Sheriff.
"Deer Shareff," Beckly wrote, "ain't got no idear how it was done, but I'd shore be obliged if you could get them critters who managed to make day into night to do it one more time. Dangdest thing I ever seen. Dangit plowed more ground today than ever befer. Heck 'n all, I can shore cope with that there wind, much as I cain't stand it, but the dark kinda puts me to sleep. Dangit done it, all by hisself. So, Shareff, one more time and we got a dandy section on the south forty for a nice crop of corn. We'll be shuckin' in September! Thanks, an all that."
He signed the note, Coping With The Wind Beckly, even though he hadn't the faintest idea of where he had read the word in the first place.