One of the wildest and most requested stories of my youth concerns the “Flaming hay bale” incident.
Now that tittle may bring about some interesting mental images of what you think occurred, let me tell you what really happened. Houston, Sam, Adam, and myself were out past dark wandering around the fields surrounding our neighborhood. One of the fields was set on a fairly steep hill and the farmer would bale his hay in large round bales. I think it was Adam who first thought it would be a good idea to turn the bales so that with a little effort they would roll down the hill side. Sam thought it would be a good idea to try to “ride” the hay bale and attempt to stay on top it, in a similar fashion as a log rolling. This worked much better than any of us would have expected and we were able to roll several of the bales down the hill and stay on top with out much difficulty.
This is what led to the next step, since this was much easier than we expected, Adam suggested that we cut the twine holding the bales together then roll them down the hill and see how much more difficult it was when the bales was falling apart as it rolled down the hill. Again we found there wasn’t much challenge and we were able to stay on top of the bales as it fell apart. Finally Adam said how about we set them on fire? I remember Houston didn’t think this was a such a good idea but finally gave in after the rest of us kept at him and finally convinced him that it would be fun.
I remember we found the perfect bale, and turned to make it easier to roll and then cut the strings. Of course it was Houston’s turn to ride the bale as we set it off down hill. Adam quickly set the dry hay on fire and much to our surprise, it caught a lot quicker than we thought it would. During our discussions we anticipated that it would just smolder and make allot of smoke but no. The bale was quickly engulfed in flames and as an added extra, the field grass started to catch as the bales rolled over.
Houston was screaming something unintelligible as he was looking for way to abandon the rolling hay bale while the rest of us took of running for the wood line. After the hay bale finally stopped rolling due to having fallen apart, Houston quickly followed us into the woods. A short 45 minutes later the field was fully burning and we could hear the fire engines in the distance. We all agreed on the run home that we would never speak of this and it was very bad idea.