John, David, and I loved playing on Daddy's new Leyland tractor. We used to sit on the seat and turn the steering wheel and pretend we were working in fields. The farms we owned and worked on in our imaginations were beautiful.
Daddy didn't mind if we played on the tractor, but we had been warned not to touch the levers or anything except the steering wheel. One day we were once again playing on it. Daddy had it parked in the potato patch on top of the hill. As I was driving through an imaginary field I pressed my foot on the clutch and the tractor rolled forward slowly. I quickly took my foot off and John and I looked at each other. That had been fun. We had not touched any levers and certainly had not started the tractor so we really weren't doing anything wrong we reasoned.
John wanted to know how I did it. So I showed him as I pressed my foot on the clutch again. The tractor rolled forward again. It was exciting to be on a tractor that is actually moving. John wanted a turn too, so I switched places with him and he pressed the clutch in and clung to the steering wheel as we rolled further down the hill. I wanted another turn so we switched again and we rode the tractor down the hill almost to the road.
Once we were there we were presented with a problem. The tractor that had so willingly rolled down the hill for us now sat stubbornly and would not climb back up before Daddy came home and saw what we had done. We were glad for the row of pine trees that had blocked our adventure from Mom's eyes but there was no way we could hide that tractor from Daddy. It would be the first thing he saw as he was coming home from work. Since we couldn't hide the tractor we did the next best thing and hid ourselves. We climbed into the attic of the old house next to ours, but today all the fun antiques didn't even look interesting as we sat in a corner waiting for Daddy to come home.
After what seemed like a long time we heard him drive into the driveway. We peeked out of the window and watched him go into the house. Before long he came out again with the milk pail and called us.
We knew we had to go so we climbed down and went to see what he had to say. He just said it is chore time and we followed him out to the barn. I stood and held the cow's tail as Daddy milked her. I usually enjoyed chore time as John, David, and I would tell Daddy everything that had happened that day, but tonight we couldn't think of anything except that tractor and wondering what our punishment would be for driving it down to the road.
Once the cow was milked and Daddy poured a bowlful of fresh milk for the cats. He set the pail down and looked at us. He asked "Is something bothering you? You have been very quiet tonight." John said. "We drove your tractor today." I quickly added that we didn't start it up though.
Daddy asked how it happened, and we told him all about it. He didn't say much but then warned us to never try something like that again because we could have easily rolled on out onto the road and been hurt.