The Runaway Hoss :
Uncle Merle Pitman had me helping him pick up rocks in the upper field and toss them in to the dump cart. He decided to dump them in a boggy place on the road to the Dewing Meadow down Green Street. Turned out the gate just before the Dewing Place was closed. Something spooked Old Ned, our hoss, when he crossed the rattley bridge over Meadow Brook, and old Ned took off. As Ned approached the closed gate, Uncle Merle thought Ned was not going to stop, and he jumped off the wagon, breaking his leg.
Haying season was upon us, and Uncle Merle was in no shape to hay. Loren Andrews of North Chatham, a local farmer, turned itinerant farm hand and mountain guide, came to the rescue to help us. It was a Sunday afternoon, and we were hanging out on the front piazza waiting for the new mown hay to dry.
A little green grass snake came wiggling out from under the lilac bush and the snake seemed to have a bunch in the middle. I was six or seven years old, and Loren said, “Dickie, grab that short dead branch over there and give it to me.” I gave the branch to Loren. He stepped on the snake's tail and ran the stick along the snake, and a little toad hopped out!
As if that wasn't enuff, Loren went over across the field to the black raspberry bushes, just across the little stream coming down from the ice pond. Loren came back with four little speckled eggs on a large raspberry leaf and broke them open. Four tiny snakes came wiggling out.