November 02, 2003

Hay prose passages.

Ray Bradbury. Fahrenheit 451. Ballantine Books: New York, 1953, p. 142.

"Millie was not here and the Hound was not here, but the dry smell of hay blowing from some distant field put Montag on the land. He remembered a farm he had visited when he was very young, one of the rare few times he discovered that somewhere behind the seven veils of unreality, beyond the walls of parlors and beyond the tin moat of the city, cows chewed grass and pigs sat in warm ponds at noon and dogs barked after white sheep on a hill. "Now the dry smell of hay, the motion of the waters, made him think of sleeping in fresh hay in a lonely barn away from the loud highways, behind a quiet farmhouse, and under an ancient windmill that whirred like the sound of the passing years overhead. He lay in the high barn loft all night, listening to distant animals and insects and trees, the little motions and stirrings..."

Thomas Hardy. Far from the Madding Crowd. Chapter 26, especially.

Thomas Hardy. The Mayor of Casterbridge. Chapter 1, etc.

Sarah Orne Jewett. A Marsh Island (1885), cited in Stebbins, p.126

"The salt-hay making was over at last. The marshes were dotted as far as eye could see by the round haystacks with their deftly pointed tops. These gave a great brilliance of color to the landscape, being unfaded yet by the rain and snow that would dull their yellow tints later in the year."

Janet Kauffman. “Patriotic” IN Places in the World a Woman Could Walk, New York: Knopf, 1983, pp. 49-64.

Annie Proulx. “The Trickle-down Effect,” New Yorker, December 23 &30, 2002, pp.124 –127.

"I could a sold it at the hay auction for more, but Deb said you was a friend and needed hay bad."

Isaac Bashevitz Singer. "Zlateh the Goat" IN Stories for Children, NY: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1962, pp. 48-49.

"Suddenly he made out the shape of a hill. He wondered what it could be. Who had piled snow into such a huge heap? He moved toward it, dragging Zlateh after him. When he came near it, he realized that it was a large haystack which the snow had blanketed.

"Aaron realized immediately that they were saved. With great effort he dug his way through the snow. He was a village boy and knew what to do. When he reached the hay, he hollowed out a nest for himself and the goat. No matter how cold it was outside, in the hay it was always warm. And hay was food for Zlateh. The moment she smelled it she became contented and began to eat. Outside the snow continued to fall. It quickly covered the passageway Aaron had dug. But a boy and an animal need to breathe, and there was hardly any air in the hideout. Aaron bored a kind of window through the hay and snow and carefully kept the passage clear.

"Zlateh, having eaten her fill, sat down on her hind legs and seemed to have regained her confidence in man. Aaron ate his two slices of bread and cheese, but after the difficult journey he was still hungry. He looked at Zlateh and noticed that her udders were full. He lay down next to her, placing himself so that when he milked her he could squirt the milk into his mouth. It was rich and sweet. Zlateh was not accustomed to being milked that way, but she did not resist. On the contrary, she seemed eager to reward Aaron for bringing her to a shelter whose very walls, floor, and ceiling were made of food.

"Through the window Aaron could catch a glimpse of the chaos outside. The wind carried before it whole drifts of snow. It was completely dark, and he did not know whether night had already come or whether it was the darkness of the storm. Thank God that in the hay it was not cold. The dried hay, grass, and field flowers exuded the warmth of the summer sun." [found by Ellen Abrams, May 2006]

Leo Tolstoy. Anna Karenina. Part III, Chapter 11-12.

"He went to the hay fields and examined the stacks. The haystacks could not possibly contain fifty wagon-loads each, and to convict the peasants Levin ordered the wagons that had carried the hay to be brought up directly, to lift one stack, and carry it into the barn. There turned out to be only thirty-two loads in the stack. In spite of the village elder's assertions about the compressibility of hay, and its having settled down in the stacks, and his swearing that everything had been done in the fear of God, Levin stuck to his point that the hay had been divided without his orders, and that, therefore, he would not accept that hay as fifty loads to a stack. After a prolonged dispute the matter was decided by the peasants taking these eleven stacks, reckoning them as fifty loads each. The arguments and the division of the haycocks lasted the whole afternoon. When the last of the hay had been divided, Levin, intrusting the superintendence of the rest to the counting-house clerk, sat down on a haycock marked off by a stake of willow, and looked admiringly at the meadow swarming with peasants."

Mark Twain. Roughing It

"Dan used to make a good thing out of the hay wagons in a dry time when
there were no fires or inquests. Are there no hay wagons in from the
Truckee? If there are, you might speak of the renewed activity and all
that sort of thing, in the hay business, you know.

"It isn't sensational or exciting, but it fills up and looks business like."

"I canvassed the city again and found one wretched old hay truck dragging
in from the country. But I made affluent use of it. I multiplied it by
sixteen, brought it into town from sixteen different directions, made
sixteen separate items out of it, and got up such another sweat about hay
as Virginia City had never seen in the world before."

Posted by Alan Ritch at November 2, 2003 02:48 PM