Billy Bob Bobiley’s Tractor


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Folks thought William Robert Bobiley was a bit peculiar. Down on Main Street the old boys sitting at the barber shop would say things like, “That Billy Bob Bob Billy is a mite peculiar;” or at the church flower committee meetings they would reflect that “There was something peculiar about that Bobiley boy.”

Billy Bob didn’t look all that unusual. He was average height, and maybe a few pounds on the skinny side, but not all that different from the other boys in the town. He had sandy brown hair, and a kind of blue-grey eyes that folks in those parts often had. It was his manner that set him apart. William Bobiley was a dreamer.

Most folks took the view that working the land was a God given blessing. When them Fordson fellas came round to market their tractors, people turned a deaf ear to them. “I got six boys and a mule,” or similar remarks greeted their advances.

But not so Billy Bob. He saw the potential of the coughing, sputtering, gasoline driven oddities. But not for plowing fields, or pulling wagons. To Billy it was the 20 horsepower engine that held the attraction. Five miles an hour, and more pull than a whole team of mules.

You see, power was Billy’s thing. He had set himself up with a pair of mules when he left school the year before, and now made a modest living dragging logs, and pulling stumps for folks. But a tractor, that would make him a “rich” man.

The $790 price tag was the catch.  But Billy Bob, being a true entrepreneur, was up to the challenge. At fifty cents a job, he pulled, and yanked, and dragged, and pulled some more.

At last he had it. He handed over the money and laid claim to the shinny new Ford tractor.

Problem was, that by the time he got it, there wasn’t a fallen log, or stubborn stump left in the valley. Well, as folks always said, “Billy Bob was a mite peculiar.”


Bible prompt: Luke 14:28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?”

I have approached this as a piece of allegory written as fiction.  It is a little tongue in cheek, but meant to be fun, not offensive. For anyone else attempting the challenge, feel free to use poetry, biblical or spiritual reflection on the verse itself, or do as I have and come up with a story prompted by the theme of “counting the cost.”

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