There was once a farmer who was eternally pessimistic, married to a woman who was the opposite. She was always trying to help him see the ever-present silver lining she saw.
One year she congratulated him for getting his watermelon seeds in the ground quite early. He said, “Well, likely as not, the vines will come up just in time for a late freeze to kill ‘em.”
But no freeze came. The vines were plentiful and robust by early March. His wife pointed out how healthy the vines looked – and he said, “If those wind rows don’t mature quickly, the late March winds will claim half the harvest.”
But the wind rows grew and all was well. By late April, his wife pointed out how they had a bumper crop growing in the field.
He said, “Yes, looks mighty good, but probably won’t be able to get the labor to get it out of the field. Or we’ll get a hail storm right at harvest time that’ll wipe us out.
That didn’t come to pass either. There was no hail storm, or even a gully washer. They got all the labor they needed. When the first week of harvest came, they were loading five 18-wheelers a day.
His wife said, “I don’t believe we’ve ever sold so many melons at so profitable a price.”
He said, “Don’t get used to it, that price won’t hold.”
But it did hold. They got the best prices overall they’d ever gotten for a whole season. They’d even be able to buy a new tractor – new to them anyway, as she liked to say.
When the last truck was loaded and drove away in May, his wife said, “Look at you. You were worried about a late freeze and March winds and labor and hail and prices holding, but none of those worries proved worth your time. We had the best year we’ve ever had. A bountiful harvest.”
He said, “You know, the problem with a bumper crop like that? It really plays hell with the soil.”
Just goes to show you can’t win with an accomplished pessimist. They can always spot the tunnel at the end of the light.
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Stories From Texas. UTRGV Digital Library, The University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley