Live weight

There’s always something happening at the Prčík household. Mr. Prčík is simply that sort of person who cannot spend his entire day in front of a TV or in a pub with a beer in his hand. This may be one of the reasons behind owning not only a pig, hen and goats, but also three horses.

his ‘animal farm’ obviously consumes a whole lot. Self-produced hay is long gone and therefore, it is purchased in bulk. It is then stacked in the hay-loft above the stable with a fork lift. It’s important to measure both height and length, so that the hay actually fits into the door. Physics plays its part here and so does the lever along with gravitation. The front of the tractor is light and tends to flip over when dealing with heavy loads. Initially, a 50kg weight is placed on the front axle to balance it out. However, with these heavy loads it’s not enough. So, most of the time, it was my wife Lenka who dropped in and assumed the role of the so-called ‘live weight’. This bale of hay however, extremely compressed and hence very heavy, needed an even larger weight to balance the tractor out, so I stepped in myself. My 80kgs next to the original 50kg weight was still not sufficient. The front wheels of the tractor still appeared to float in the air. What now?

Živé závaží

Someone from the crowd said: ‘Well, it’s time for grandma (Mrs. Prčíková) to get on the tractor’. Naturally, it was an exaggeration for the moment and humor was the only intention. But who would have thought that at that precise second, she would hop on a platform and climb onto the front of the tractor without hesitation and any real problem. She lay down on her belly and presented herself as ‘live weight’ for the first time in her life. The bale of hay was under the roof in no time and grandma was able to climb down again.

Simply speaking, this was an incidental moment typical to life in the village, where everyone needs to be practical and deal with obstacles on their own, even if it means using your grandma as ‘live weight’.

Zdeněk Dvořák

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