There is just something about the nature of things that change when Mike is away. The universe seems to sense that there is an imbalance and works to counter with unusual force.
Mike had only been gone on a short get-away and less than 24 hours after he left, I ran into an issue. I skewered a slab of hay to toss into the manger for the three young bulls and the tines flew off the top of the handle still stuck in the slab.
A broken tool now and again isn’t unusual on the farm, but this fork had survived a good long time without a warning that the handle was rotting away from the metal tines. There had been no looseness about the tool, it seemed sturdy without any wobble.
This pitchfork was inherited, and had been used out in the bull pen barn every day for the last 40some years that we have owned the place, and it had been well used by the previous owner of the farm for probably 40 years before that.
All during our ownership, the tines were no longer true anymore, one sloped away from the others and the middle tine was tweaked out of alignment of the three-some. One could only skewer a single slab of hay at a time because of the slightly askew tines, which was usually fine because to scatter the hay along the manger we only picked up one at a time anyway. Every so often I would complain that the tines needed straightening, but the task was always put off for one of those days when we had time to get to it.
The tool definitely had character and I am positive it had a vengeful streak hiding in its quirky character. It noticed that Mike the Master was nowhere around. The pitchfork pitched a fit, so to speak, and dismantled as I lofted and sent a slab flying into the manger. Well played pitchfork, well played, you had me lolled into complacency about your hidden flaw and I didn’t see the end coming. I never really liked you anyway.