The Greatest Job

This morning when I was halfway through mucking out the yard a livery commented to me,

“You`ll have to empty that now… You`ve got to admit it`s full.”

She was referring to the fact that I always have an overflowing wheelbarrow, and usually try to cram as much into it as possible.

It`s true, I admit, I like to be efficient with my trips to the muckheap. Even the farrier noticed last week.

Ever since I remember I`ve hated emptying wheelbarrows. When we started helping at the yard as ten or eleven year olds we were responsible for emptying the wheelbarrows. In groups we used to muck out the stalls – the older ones had the forks and stacked the wonky wheeled wheelbarrows high with wet straw and dung. We daren`t stop them too early in case they thought we were weak. Then we perilously wheeled the wobbly load through the long rooms of stalls, avoiding the cracks and pot holes, before getting enough speed to bump the barrow up the step, before taking a sharp right hand turn and passing through the stable (God forbid you made a mess in this linking stable) and then carefully through the narrow door and down the step out onto the yard. Once there it was a straightforward route to the muckheap, but you had to be careful of the divots and ridges in the concrete of the yard. At the muckheap you either had to push the barrow up the plank of wood, or gave a final wobble of the barrow and left the muck in a heap at the base of the muckheap, only to return later to fork it up.

As we moved up the ranks we were allowed to fork up the muckheap – initially on the top layer, crouched under the roof we were responsible for ensuring the preciseness and levelness of the top level. Slowly we were promoted down the layers and then eventually permitted to do the mucking out.

So I`m sure you can understand now, why I`m not a fan of emptying my wheelbarrows. And how I can stack them so high. And wheel them so carefully that not a blade of straw is shed.

By the way, this morning I mucked out another stable before emptying the “full” wheelbarrow.

One thought on “The Greatest Job

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