“Mr. Draper’s Farm,” Friend, Sept. 2004, 18
“It’s Saturday! Everybody up!” Dad calls from the hall.
I open my eyes. Mommy kisses me and opens my curtains to welcome the morning sun.
“How would you like to go for a drive today?” Daddy asks with a smile.
“Yes, yes,” I say as I quickly jump out of bed. After Mommy helps me get dressed, we go downstairs for breakfast. Pancakes with sweet maple syrup! “Yum!” I say.
After breakfast we get in the car for a drive to Hood River. It is autumn, and the leaves on the trees are many different colors. I draw leaves that are yellow, red, and orange on the big pad of paper with the crayons that Mommy brought.
Finally we stop at Mr. Draper’s farm. Mr. Draper is a big man with a tall hat. We walk over to see his turkeys and chickens. “Would you like to feed them?” he asks, handing me a cob of corn.
“Yes, thank you,” I reply. Mr. Draper shows me how to hold the corn so the turkeys will peck at it and not my finger.
“How about a hay ride?” Mr. Draper calls as he drives his tractor from the barn. Behind the tractor is a flatbed trailer with bales of hay to sit on. Many of the other visitors want to come on the hayride, too. We wait until everyone is seated; then we start to move. The ride is bumpy and makes me laugh!
Mr. Draper tells us how the farm has belonged to his family for many generations. He shows us different kinds of apples and pears as we ride under the trees. Daddy points to some horses nearby.
Mr. Draper stops his tractor, puts a bale of hay on the ground, and helps us all step down. He shows us a big patch of strawberries and raspberries near the horses, and tells us we may pick some. Daddy picks me up so I can reach some raspberries, then Mommy takes me over to pet the horses.
Mommy takes a picture of Daddy and me on the trailer before it is time to go. “Smile,” Mommy says. I smile as big as I can. Then everyone climbs back on the trailer for the trip back.
The tractor starts to move again. Mr. Draper drives us by his bee boxes, where the bees make honey for him. Then we drive under his plum trees. He tells us we can reach up and pick one. Daddy helps me grab a plum. “Mmm—it is so juicy!” I say.
As we come to the pond, many ducks fly into the air. They quack very loudly. Almost as loud as the tractor engine. We drive by the house where Mr. Draper lives and see his big sunflowers and vegetable garden. As we come back to the front of the farm, the tractor slows down and then stops.
Mr. Draper helps us all down. Mommy buys some of his shiny apples and pears, and Daddy gives me an apple to eat on the way home. I take a big bite, and the sweet juice runs down my chin.
“Good-bye Farmer Draper, I hope I see you again!” I call as I get into the car. Mr. Draper waves back.
Autumn is my favorite time of year!