Friday, August 27, 2004

The Trolley

The sun gazed down on my head as I lay in the tall grass of the meadow. The blackbirds were singing on the fence. We had been living at the farm since New Years Day. There was so much to explore here, so many adventures coming our way.The barn was just across the creek in the back of our house. I imagine from the air it would look like a giant "F". Inside the barn were some of the strangest old implements we ever saw, everything from a barrel butter churn to an overhead monorail.The monorail went all around the barn. A large long bucket like a wheelbarrow, suspended from the track. We fastened a piece of binder twine to one side of the bucket and towed it around.Today we would take turns riding in the trolley. The barn was dark compared to the bright spring day. The sun beams radiated through the barn boards. The clear glass lights in the barn twinkled like distant stars. I scrambled over a couple of hay bales to get into the trolley. My brother Mark grasped the string and started to tug. The rusty wheels overhead squeaked as we made our way around the barn. The weight of me and the trolley caused a chugging noise on each segment of the overhead track. Faster and faster Mark pulled the trolley the wind was blowing in my hair My face beamed as we picked up speed. Light beams from the sun whizzing by. I look back now and I am sure George Lucas had the same experience when he was writing the final scene in Starwars.My X-wing fighter was banking around the curves. The track went outside the barn into the barnyard. I burst into the sun! A climactic ending to the maiden voyage.Now it was Marks turn. I dragged the trolley back into the dark depths of the barnThe sunbeams were more vivid now since we had stirred up the dust off the barn floor.Mark climbed into the trolley. I grabbed the twine and started to tug. Once again the squeaky wheels chugged down the track, the dim lights twinkled and the sunbeams flashed by, Faster and faster we went, bursting into the sun light at the end of each voyage.This went on for several hours, we couldn't get enough of it. Then Mark suggested we oil the wheels, He was certain we could get the trolley to go faster. Out came the good old 3-in 1 WD40 in those days. Mark scrambled in the trolley, after all it was his idea!I grabbed that string and was bound and determined to give Mark the ride of his life. We would surely make this trolley fly.I started to run, there was a lack of squeaking this time, just the steady thunk thunk thunk of the rails overhead. I rounded the first turn, the trolley swung out slightly. Mark was hanging on tight. Faster and faster I ran, around the second turn we were really picking up ........ Suddenly there was a noise neither of us had heard before. A click and a groan.The next few seconds are replayed over and over in slow motion. I turned to look over my shoulder, the trolley was starting to flip over. The supports were still there. Mark was tumbling out of the trolley smashing onto the floor of the barn. The trolley was upside down!. Pivoting from its frame. He hit the ground with such a crash I am certain the cement must have cracked. I ducked down as the trolley flew past my head, still attached to the rail. I scrambled over to Mark who was dazed and somewhat stunned.He got up and shook the dust of his dark brown hair, now covered with cobwebs and shavings.We had no idea what had gone wrong. The trolley was still sailing away from us into the barn yard.I walked and Mark hobbled over to the trolley. We looked at the rusty metal hanging from the track. At first we thought it broke from old age. Then Mark discovered a trip mechanism. A switch to dump the contents. When the trolley rounded the last turn the trip mechanism hit a nail in the wall!Mark and I sat there looking at the trolley then at each other. Suddenly a light came on. The cart wasn't a trolley put there for our amusement, it was a cart for removing manure from the barn!!! We grabbed the trolley and reset the mechanism. Mark rubbed his back where he hit the ground. "Wanna go for a ride?" he said."In a manure cart?" I replied. We both grinned. I climbed in and for the rest of the day we tried our best to trip the mechanism when we rounded the turn!


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