We motored up Route 14 along the White River Valley out of White River Junction.
Finally we got to Barre, and I was picked up at the bus stop by my assigned farmer, Louis Carrier, and taken to his dairy farm on a hill in Williamstown.
Louis must have had his doubts about me, but he was patient. The biggest machine I had ever handled was a lawnmower.
When the tractor’s wheel sank into a groundhog hole, I almost lurched overboard.
I was careening down the hill wildly out of control, back and forth on the road as bales of hay toppled off and tumbled down the road, breaking apart.
By the time I managed to stop the tractor, the top tiers of my load were spread over the road behind me and a man in a Studebaker was backing uphill to get away from the disaster.
I tried to step evenly on the brakes together, but couldn’t.
I pressed the right brake and swung to the right, then the left brake and swung to the left, back to the right brake.
I couldn’t understand why Louis was so upset — who would see it other than us and the chipmunks?
I was feeling very proud when Louis trusted me to take the tractor by myself to a field a half-mile away and up a hill from the farm.