We have had a very elderly red tractor for over twelve years. Tod bought it second hand and for a time it trundled backwards and forwards across our field with a large (modern) grass cutter attached to the back.
For a while, all was well because a near neighbour knew all there was to know about the innards of old machines and he kept it going for us. Sadly, he went back to the UK and we, and several farmers around, were very sorry to see him go.
From then on, the tractor has gently gone into decline and Tod hardly uses it these days. He thinks he knows what's wrong but doesn't have the skill or tools to do the necessary repairs and those who might are too busy servicing John Deere mowers.
So the tractor has been sitting in a corner by our entrance, looking more and more sad.
Wednesday, I was strimming the gulley that runs down from the road alongside our farm track. We have guests arriving Friday and we need the place to look tidy.
A van comes down our track - a young man offering gardening services. I fob him off and suggest he continues down the track and turns in our driveway in order to get away easily. As he comes back up, he stops his van. "Is the tractor for sale?" I get Tod. A deal is struck and a second visit - with his mechanic (who turns out to be his Dad) - is arranged for Thursday morning.
I am in the cottage ironing when I hear the noise of a car? van? outside. Not sure what's going on, I wander out to find a small, scruffy, white lorry and two men unloading ramps.
"They'll never manage it" I think. "That lorry is much too small." And I return to my ironing.
Through the open bedroom window I hear the rumble of the tractor and much yelling. "Stop! Arrêtes!" I imagine someone under an over-turned tractor. More yelling, more rumbling. The dogs join me in the cottage to escape from the drama outside.
Then it goes suspiciously quiet. Tod calls up to me through the open window. "They've gone, and taken the mower with them - never thought they've get it up the ramp and on the lorry."
Goodbye red tractor. I'm sure you are going to a better life. And we've got a bit of cash towards a "proper" John Deere mower for the field. A mower that the young lad in town will be only too happy to service.