We were living and working on a property in the Pilliga scrub, had four young children and I was expecting twins.
Whilst our two eldest children were at school, my husband, Ian, often took three-year old Alex to work with him. It was not long before Alex was quite adept at driving the grey Massey Ferguson tractor and Ian often sat on the trailer whilst it was being towed by the tractor.
One day as they traversed a dry creek bed and headed towards a fork in the trail, Ian called to Alex and indicated that he should take the left fork, but Alex misunderstood the directions and immediately swung the tractor left which took him between two large trees. Alex argues the point on this to this day, 54 years later, claiming that he did not misunderstand but that his father gave him the wrong information.
The tractor fitted between the trees, but the trailer did not! Ian was left sitting on the disembodied trailer in the creek bed as he watched the tractor, towing the chassis and wheels of the trailer, wend its way up the bank of the creek.
Ian’s boss was most understanding, declaring that we probably needed a more up to date trailer equipped with a turntable, and asking what would be needed in order to build it. Of course, Ian built it and it was a much better trailer.
By Margaret Irwin