As Grandpa grew older and less able to work, he had to hire more help to work around his farm. He had always taken a lot of pride in keeping everything mowed and shaped up. He had always liked to trim his trees and cut weeds himself.
He always liked to start his garden early, right after the last frost so he would be the first in the neighborhood to have beans, corn and tomatoes out of the garden. But as the years went by he had to slow down.
One year as the garden season started, he wasn’t really able to plow and plant. He started looking around for someone who could plow his garden for him.
Up next to the head of the hollow a couple of boys owned an old horse that they sometimes worked for people. They had turned him out on a reclaimed strip mine to fend for himself during the winter. But when Grandpa hired them to plow, they went to find him.
He looked like it had been a really rough winter. He looked like a horsehide stretched over a rail frame. But the boys put the gears on him.
With one of the boys leading the horse and the other boy holding the plow, they started to work on Grandpa’s garden. They had plowed for awhile and the garden was starting to look pretty good, but the old horse started getting slower and slower.
He made it down to the end of the row but when he started to turn around, he just fell over. He took a couple deep breaths and died.
Grandpa ran down to where the boys were standing and asked them what happened.
“We don’t know. This is the first time he has ever done this.”