Close all the doors and windows and bring in the cat .... the combine harvester has arrived. I left one of my cats outside on harvest day a few years ago .... sadly I never saw him again. I like to think he climbed into a delivery van and got taken away to find a new owner somewhere. The idea that he got squashed into a hay bale is too awful! Harvest time is awful for some creatures though. The mice have to run for it! The Field Mouse by Gillian Clarke illustrates the point. She describes her children helping the farmer and finding dead or injured animals, one of which is a field mouse. She is really making reference to children who suffered in the Bosnian war. On a much lighter note here is an amusing clip of a snoring Dormouse.
It took a couple of hours to clear the field - that's reaping; threshing and winnowing the wheat then collecting and baling the straw. It was a one man job except for driving the bales away as they needed two tractors for that. The invention of Combine Harvesters revolutionised farming. It used to be a MASSIVE job! We still have the six week school holidays because everyone was needed in the fields come harvest time before Combine Harvesters reduced the work. They were invented in America in 1834 but a self propelling version wasn't introduced into Europe until 1952.
Here is one of my favourite tracks of music ..... Field of Gold by Sting.