Remember autumn hayrides,
We used to do in late October?
Teenagers thought that they were swell,
I still agree, though now I'm older.

We'd check out the Farmers'Almanac,
For assurance of full moon,
Then hire horses and a wagon,
And oft a fiddler to play tunes.

Farmers volunteered their hay,
They'd stack the wagon full,
And some, with smiles, even gave,
Crisp apples by the drum full.

The night air likley'd have a chill,
So we were warmly dressed,
Blue denim jeans and wool plaid shirts,
Seemed to fit the bill the best.


Girls' hair tied back with ribbons,
Boys with kerchiefs at their throats,
Bells hung loosley on the wagon,
As swiped from cows and billy goats.

The stage was set, and we'd take off,
Down some back country road,
Very slowly we'd roll forward,
The horses unaccustomed to such load.

The boys loudly shouting,
The girls giggling with glee,
The clop, clop, clop of horses,
And bells ringing merrily.


Today I still can hear those sounds,
If I close my eyes and dream;
Ah, that was such a special time,
In a part of my life's scheme.

Eventually we would arrive,
At a friendly farm house kitchen,
Where we found mugs of steaming cocoa,
Marsh mallowed and enrichened.

Then we'd climb back up on the wagon,
And settle in the hay;
We'd carve out our cozy niches,
And curl up to stay.


Sometimes the boys and girls held hands,
And softly whispered to each other;
Other times, hearty songs poured forth,
While some kids talked and muttered.

A few rode along in silence,
Contented to be there,
Warm and toasty in the hay,
Drinking in the cool, night air.

With the harvest moon bright shining,
And a million stars up in that sky,
And the joy of youth unending,
Oh, what a night to be alive!


I'm sure that all of us,
As we've aged down through the years,
Still have thoughts of those old hayrides,
Mixed with smiles and with tears.

You cannot beat those old days,
Though today's youth claims much more;
Today's measurement of worth ... is price,
And one can't price precious gone-befores.

~ Virginia Ellis ~
Copyright 2000

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