Moonbeam’s Big Adventure & the Catastrophe that Follows

A recently true story experienced & told by my Grandma, Irene Ray

Moonbeam has been free to run wherever when we go for walks now, but I always keep the leash on in case I have to hold on to her when we walk on the road. I bribed her with treats when I was training her, so she was always very good about coming back when I called “Come”. Here’s the scene: it’s freezing cold out, every place is covered with snow except the road, I’m bundled up with storm coat, muffler, hat, gloves, big boots and still feeling the cold. I have Glory, who behaves very well, on the leash. We are confined to the road because of all the snow.

We’re heading north and are about halfway to 8th road. When the manure spreader far out in the field starts to head in our direction. The driver is out of manure and is heading back to our road. He exits the field very near where Moonbeam has her head stuck in a huge snowbank, looking for mice. Moonbeam perks up and watches the huge machine aim toward her and head north to go back to Duescher’s farm. There is a lovely smelling trail of manure covering the tracks left in the snow in the farm field. Moonbeam thinks “What luck! How delightful!” and starts following the tracks left by the manure spreader. Glory and I are far up the road by now, I’m holding on to her to keep her from wanting to chase the manure spreader. Meanwhile Moonbeam falls in love with the tire trail she’s following and starts to run into the field. I start shouting “Moonbeam, Come!” louder and louder, but she never even turns her head. She’s off on her adventure. I start to panic no way I can chase her through the snow – she’s speeding far into the field where the manure was being spread, toward Duescher’s farm. I start to pull Glory home so I can get the car and make chase after Moonbeam. Glory is old and has cold paws so is not too happy with my decision.

When I at last get back to the house I find that Robert is fast asleep on the couch, so I hop into the car and head for the road. I stop about halfway to 8th road and get out of the car to try and lure Moonbeam back in my direction since she loves to go for a ride in the car. I start shouting at her and Hallelujah! she stops running and looks at me. The snow is too deep for her to head in my direction, so she starts following her tracks back toward the road. I quickly decide to get in the car and make a u-turn back to where she’ll come out on the road. BIG mistake! As I ease over to make the turn my car slips into the ditch. As I try to gun it out, it goes in deeper. Now I know I’m in trouble. I hop out of the car, lock it and run (hahaha) back to Moonbeam. When I reach the place where, hopefully, she will join me, she stops and decides she’d rather continue on her adventure. Foolishly, I leap into the snow after her and try to catch on to her leash. Of course I fall and like the kid in “A Christmas Story” I cant get up because I am bundled with clothes, all the while calling lovingly to Moonbeam so she’ll come close enough so I can grab the leash. It works. Now I have to try and get up while holding on to a leash of a dog who wants to RUN! Calling on my super-strength I am able to stand again and trundle back over the snowbanks back to the road.

We gingerly walk back and I thrust her into the house, stalk into the living room and shout Wake UP! Robert responds….”what”? “ I need help!” Okay, he’s up like a flash then. I quickly summarize the situation and we discuss what to do. I feed the dogs while he’s getting dressed. I grab a snow shovel and head for the car while he goes out to get the tractor. He forgets to bring a hat and gloves. I’m digging out the car and manage to get most of the snow away from the front wheel on the passenger side which is deeply embedded in frozen snow. By the way, it’s starting to get dark now. Dad parks the tractor in the road and looks over the situation. He gets into the car and tries to rock it out and gun it out of the ditch. The car goes deeper into the ditch. Dad has brought a chain along, so he has to get down into the ditch and put the chain around the axle of the car (no gloves, no hat – I offered mine but he wouldn’t take them). He is lying in the ditch on his bad hip, which I pray will not pop out while he is maneuvering the chain. When the chain is connected, dad can’t get up. His hip is hurting and he’s deep in the snow. He finally makes it, he gets on the tractor, I attach the chain to the tractor bucket and he works at pulling the car out. Hooray, he finally gets it back up on the road and in driving position.

It’s dark now. The car is heading north, so I suggest we leave the chain on and I drive to the end of the road, make a u-turn and come back with the chain dragging. Dad agrees. He says he will back down the road to get the tractor back in the garage. Now, it’s pitch black, no lights on the tractor. So, I go down the road, hold my breath while making the u-turn, thankful that there are no other cars in sight. I slowly head back home and suddenly, in my headlights – there is the tractor – parked in front of me! The road is slippery – I can’t slam on the brakes, so I try to ease them to stop in time before I hit the tractor. When it’s almost too close, I do slam on the brakes and stop just in front of the bucket. I get out of the car and we stare at each other like we’re both out of our minds. He says he was waiting to make sure I would get back okay, which I accept as mildly reasonable. My headlights light up the road so he can see well enough to not go into the ditch, backwards. We both ease our way back to the garage and are happy that all is well.

But wait! All is not well, the chain must have detached from my car somewhere along the road. Just then a car zooms by on the road in front of the house. Then a few minutes go by and another car goes by. We’re both thankful that they didn’t come by while we were parked in the dark, but – did one of them happen to find our chain in the middle of the road and pick it up? Dad says it is very valuable – it’s a prince among chains. So, we hop back in the car looking for the lost chain and far up the road, there is, rolled up like a sleeping snake in the middle of the road. Hooray again! All is well! We have our chain, our car and we can soon be back in our nice warm house again. Then, Dad starts to laugh. He can’t stop laughing. I’ve been crying for the last hour and he’s laughing his head off.

“It’s not funny!” I shout.

“Yes!” he says, “it is funny!”

“No, it’s not funny to me!”

“I can’t wait to tell the story” he says.

“It’s too long” I said, “you can’t tell it – you’ll never get done with it”.

“Then you tell it” he says.

So I did.

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