Autumn Schmid, Aug. 20, 2008

The Corn Field Catastrophe

  Brown haired 11 year old girl  Hi! I’m Autumn. I’m 11, well . . . I will be in 4 ½ weeks. I’m writing that “What I Did This Summer” story for school 2 weeks early this year. Maybe you heard about this already, but it will still be the best story in 6th grade.

    I happened 3 days ago. My 9 year old brother 9 year old boy Nicholas (Born Dec. 24th), Will Will (Wilhelm Gustav Sager, 6 weeks older than me),  and me were trying to enjoy our last 2 weeks of freedom before school. (Actually we were pretty bored.) Lancaster County gets pretty hot in August and our parents won’t let us use any more water to sprinkle each other because of no rain. The wheat and alfalfa are now cut. The sweet corn is getting cut and the field corn will get cut in October. We are allowed to play in the fields as long as we don’t hurt the crops or the corn is not over our heads. When the corn gets high we must stay out. Our parents think we will get lost. Right now the sweet corn is about 6 feet high.

                                          tall corn field

          Well, after supper the 3 of us were just flopped out on a few limbs up in our old mulberry tree when Will tells us about old Mr. Schlosser not having enough to eat since he lost his farm last spring. He was always nice to us and we felt bad. Nick came up with the idea that we could sneak into Mr. Rutt’s field and “borrow” a dozen ears for old farmer Schlosser. We all knew stealing was wrong, but after all we would be doing good by helping someone poor. After we got the 12 ears we thought it might be fun to play Hide-n-Seek for just a little. If we stayed close together and yelled a lot, we couldn’t get lost. At first we were fine, but it was too easy staying close and making so much noise. Will thought it would be OK if we quit yelling.

      inside cornfield rows    It was my turn to be “It”. I walked between the rows and climbed over the humps.  I was taking turns listening and yelling for the boys, but after 5 minutes I still could not find them. I started screaming as loud as I could. I guess Will knew I was getting scared and he jumped out behind me and made me jump as high as the corn. He told me he had no idea where Nick got to. We both started screaming now. After about half an hour we were both getting scared crazy. The sun was going down and we all had to be home before dark.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             trees at sunset

We knew were in really bad trouble, but we had to tell my parents. We followed a row out of the field and came out next to Will’s house and walked back to mine. We told them the whole story and gave them the corn we got for Mr. Schlosser. Mom and Dad were NOT happy. unhappy parents Neither were Mr. and Mrs. Sager. We were all going to get a licking as soon as the adults could find Nick.

 Dad, Mr. Sager, Mr. Hoffer, Mr. Wolgemuth, Mr. Koser, Mr. Rutt (The man who owns the corn field) and even old Mr. Schlosser and Mr. Rehrer all joined in on the hunt. Mom stayed with us kids. My 4 year old twin sisters, Peony and Iris (They were born the end of May) were crying and I was beginning to feel like it too. The sun went down and and Mrs. Sager took Will home for that promised licking.

The men looked all night. You could hear them yelling all around the field. Some even went into other fields around. The sun came up before 7:00 o’clock, but some heard a bad hail storm was coming later that day. Mr. Rutt was worried about losing his crop. The men decided it was too dangerous for him to try to cut his field down even if he went very slow and looked out for Nick. More men came as the storm got closer and helped look too.                                                                                          

lightning About 3:00 o’clock the storm hit. It was a very bad storm and the hail was as big as green plums.  The men had to come in so they would not get hit in the head. As soon as the storm left, they tramped back out into the muddy field. It was harder now because the rain and hail had squashed flat most of the standing corn. Mr. Rutt looked as if he was going to cry.

Just before the sun went down again we all heard old Mr. Schlosser yell. He found Nick. His leg was stuck in a rabbit hole and he banged his head silly. He had bumps all over from the hail. He really was pink with purple polka dots! Dad and Mr. Koser dug around his leg and got him out. His ankle was swollen and really bad sprained. He had a goose egg on his head. The rest of him was just hungry and tired.

                         old tractor       

 My parents were glad to find him but they were really sore about us going into the field in the first place. If it hadn’t been for hunting for Nick, Mr. Rutt could have got his corn harvested before the hail storm. Now he lost most of that field. Dad knew he had to pay back Mr. Rutt for his corn. I could see no allowances for us for forever. Maybe no Christmas presents either.

Dad sat us down to talk (We were really standing. We were too sore to sit.). He explained to us that doing wrong to try to do a good thing was still wrong. He told us a story about a woman in the Bible Bible named Rahab. She lied to protect some of Israel’s spies from getting killed by men from Jericho. Helping God’s men was a good thing, but she did something wrong to do good. But since she was not one of God’s people, she didn’t know any better. We have the Bible to tell us what is right and wrong.

 plate of food Then he told us that all the people in our neighborhood had been taking turns sending food to Mr. Schlosser and were trying to help him get back his farm from the bank. And besides, if we had just asked Mr. Rutt, he probably would have let us pick a dozen ears of corn so we didn’t need to steal them. And if we had done that, his field wouldn’t have been lost to the hail. Doing good the wrong way didn’t help Mr. Schlosser anyway, and it sure did hurt Mr. Rutt and my parents, as well as Nick.

The lesson I learned this summer was doing wrong is always wrong. There is only one way to do right. We are not doing good if we have to do something wrong to do right. I wrote this poem.

Do good things the right way.

Don’t do them the wrong way.

For wrong is not good

If you don’t do what you should.

Depart from evil, and do good.  Psalms 34:14

Even a child is know for his doings, whether his work be pure,

and whether it be right. Proverbs 20:11

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