Saturday, July 13, 2013

Ugh. (updated)

What better way to celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Kursk than with an epic tank battle?

So, among the relics left on our property by the previous owners, there is this big tank.  In this old picture, it's there beneath the oak tree, eight or nine feet tall. 

Moving it, or dealing with it in any way, has not been a priority.  True, it hasn't been in the way, and it's big and heavy and awkward.  The real reason I haven't bothered with it, though, is that when you get near it, you start smelling something that is unidentifiable and unpleasant--not quite corpse, not quite spoilage, not quite bog, but definitely not good.  Tapping on the side seemed to indicate at least a few inches there.  The top was open, so rain and leaves, and perhaps the occasional curious animal could easily get in, but not get out.  And so it had been, for at least two cycles of sodden winter and baking summer.

Unfortunately, this week, it became necessary to shift the monster.  It took a tractor to tip the darn thing over, and the tractor was working hard.  The sludge inside didn't pour out, but needed considerable help with a hoe to come out.

It is left to the reader's imagination to supply the sound effect that the substance made as it exited the tank and hit the growing pile.  What exactly was in there? As expected, a goodly amount of tree matter, and what may have been a rodent, but the bulk of it was...


The previous owners of the property, before they quit, ran cattle on the main field, and they liked to use molasses as a feed supplement.  So, what I was scooping out of the tank was a savage, feral sort of spiced rum--fermented molasses, barrel-aged, with vegetable additives.  As with the sound effect, describing the odor is likewise left to the reader's imagination. 

At the bottom of the tank, giving further evidence of the monster's contents, were many chunks of rock sugar.

I suppose I could take them to the farmers' market and hawk them as healing crystals, or maybe naturally flavored candy.  Anyway, the tank has left the field of battle, and now the goats can move in. 

Update--after spending most of an afternoon trying to clean molasses spluge out of a grassy field, I think it would have been more appropriate (if anniversaries were important) to have done this on January 15th.


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