I couldn’t get the tractor started. Again. The mid-60’s relic always needed a jump, but I thought, through some miracle of corroded wire and rusted metal, somehow this time would be different.

But it rarely is, right?

When someone shows you who they are, over and over, you should probably believe them. Even if that someone is a small red tractor who’s internal integrity has been compromised.

I opened the hood to expose the motor, just as a fluttering caught my eye in the pond, where the mama duck and her sole little survivor were doing laps. I’d thought the mama had maybe abandoned the duckling when she flew off a few days ago, but apparently there’s a hiding place in the bordering rocks that the hawks, bobcats, and coyotes don’t know about.

I turned back to the tractor and the patchwork of used parts that have kept her in service since before I was born. I should probably retire her as a lawn ornament, where she can watch over the landscape she used to plow through, and sometimes get stuck in, depending on who was driving.

A tangle of cables later, I got her running.

Just needed a jump.