509. On your bike
© Bruce Goodman 3 March 2015

Bill, aged eleven, was keen to help his father on the farm. In the weekends of winter he would feed the cattle hay from the back of the trailer towed by the farm tractor. Sometimes, his father would let him drive the tractor instead of being on the trailer and tossing the hay to the cattle. When he drove the tractor, his father would throw the hay to the cattle.

By the time he was thirteen, there wasn’t a piece of farm machinery that Bill couldn’t drive. He could back an articulated truck and trailer down a narrow alley, as easy as eating an ice cream.

By the time he was married he had a license in every vehicle invented: motorbike, bus, truck, car, taxi…

His wife got Bill a mountain bike for his birthday. That way, they could go riding off together in their spare time. Bill never mastered bike-riding. The most he could ever do was wobble down the driveway before falling off at the gate.

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