We get the truck scooped down to the bottom of the bed. The last pellets want to roll away from the shovels as we try to scoop.
The pellets gather up into the corners of the truck-bed. The driver motions for me to hop off. I hold the shovel as he sweeps out the pellets into a scoop shovel I hold up.
I toss the pellets into the bin.
“Rabbit pellets have a lot of nitrogen in them,” the driver makes talk, “a lot like sheep pellets.”
“Contain vitamins too,” I add.
“That so,” the driver remarks, “What kind?”
“Carrotene,” I say with a smirk.
The driver rolls his eyes, “Of all the poop-scoopers in the world, I get stuck with the shovel-aleck.”
I wince after the firswt turn and the trapped vapor jumps up to hit me.
“Good Morning,” the driver pulls back to let most of the vapor sail past him.
Admidst various grimaces, we get the compost pits forked over and turn to unloading the truck.
I catch a whiff of it and remark, “Funny, don’t smell like any poop I’ve Scooped.”
Really?” the driver asks, “what makes you say that?”
“I shoveled them all,” I advise the driver, “Hogs, cattle, cows, sheep, goats, horses, but what we’re throwing here doesn’t smell like any poop I’ve ever been up against.”
The driver smiles, “Guess it is a bit to be unusual,” he scoops up and tosses in another forkful.
“Yes, I notice how easily it rolls about the scoop shovel,” I observe.
The driver smiles, “Rabbit poop.”
“Aw Man,” I complain, “I make a sensible observation and all I get is,”
“Rabbit poop,” the driver finishes.
“Yeah, Right,” I frown.
“No really,” the driver insists, “What we’re scooping is rabbit poop for real, no pooping.”
“No Pooping?” I ask.
“No Pooping,” the driver motions to the truck bed, “Except what we’re unloading here.”
The driver pulls up beside the compost bins and pulls out a scoop shovel. I walk up and he good-naturedly hands me another scoop shovel left in the compost receptacle.
The driver tosses the first scoop full from the back of the truck and stirs it around. He sniffs the air, “Could stand a good turning pretty darn soon.”
I crinkle my nose, “Something, this pile is starting to smell a bit gamey.”
The driver laughs, “You’re right you know, someone has to get in here once a week or so to get all this compost turned over so the nitrogen will fix to the organic material.”
“Never knew the nitrogen was broke in the first place, ” I shrug as I step in to help the driver turn over the pile.
After marlene clops-clops out, the next customer pulls up.
Actually, it’s a panel truck.
Driver leans out, “Where’s these go?”
I shrug, “Don’t look at me, I just work around here.”
The driver grins, “Just to see a certified Barny Bum work, been worth the trip over here.”
I frown, “So what do you need loaded?”
The driver motions to the back, “Loaded? Hey No, I got a load of stff that needs unloaded, fer sure.”
“Lemme pull over by the compost station,” the driver advises me.
“Compost?” I ask.
“Sure, this place is Hickstown is full of compost, or at least things that need composting,” the driver laughs before he backs up and drives over by a series of cinder block receptacles
I move with a panic approaching fast as I scoop with desperation, “Mighty fine Scooping there,” Marlene observes.
“I’m trying not to get buried,” I call back, “In these oats, that’d be a miserable way to go.”
“The wagon sides don’t go that high,” Marlene calls back.
“I suppose you’ll say, Darn, to that,” I joke back.
“Don’t tempt me,” from Marlene’s tone I wasn’t exactly sure if she was entirely being jovial about the situation.
I finally get the wagon loaded, well got the oats spread around evenly across the bed.
“The weight will be spread out this way,” Marlene assures.
“Better be,” I wipe my brow and forehead.
“Well, I guess I’d better be on my way,” Marlene pauses long enough to step out of the wagon, back onto the loading dock.
“Glad you were here,” Marlene says to me.
“Really?” I ask with a grin.
“Sure” Marlene announces, “Usually they make me do all the shoveling myself.”
Malrene looks over her shoulder, ‘Not the smoothest spreading job I’ve ever seen,” she says, “But in an emergency even a Barny Bum will do.”
I’m standing in the bed of the wagon as marlene pushes the button that drops the bottom of the chute. and soon I’m standing in the bed of Marlene’s wagon as whole oats and dust fill in and around my feet and up to my ankles.
“What ya’ standing there for? Are you a Dolt? Scoop Away!”
in prompt response to Marlene’s encouragement and prompting, I do just that and begin to scoop away.
I get pushing the remainder of the corn out of the horse-farmer’s wagon. He tips his hat, shakes the reins and the team clop their way out to start home.
Pushig up in line behind after the horse-farmer leaves is a woman in a straw hat with her horses and a wagon.
I scratch my, “Mamm,” I say, “Looks like you forgot something.”
The elevator-guy looks down and says concernedly, “Looks like the Scout is right, Marlene, your wagon is empty.”
Marlene looks skywards, “Of course, I came to get oats to feed the horses.”
The elevator guy looks at the line up of horse drawn wagons and light trucks, shrugs, “Chicken Feed grinding Day, I’ll be tied up here all day.”
“Can I load my own?” Marlene asks.
“Be my guest,” the Elevatror Guy agrees, “You are a steady customer, go ahead.”
marlene takes one look at me, “Well Scout, go Scout yourself up a scoop shovel, you’ve got some shoveling to do.”
marlene gently guides her team and wagon, “We’re by the oats chute,” she yells, “Lemme get it.”
Marlene presses a button and a buzzer sounds as the oats slides into a vat.
marlene carefully keeps an eye on a scale.
“Just what I paid for,” Marlene says to herself as the scale reaches the right weight.
Marlene stops the chute and the outflow of oats trickles to a stop.
a last few groats sprinkle down into the back of the wagon and Marlene yells to me, “Get to Work!”