There was still a faint smell of pumpkins, though the stock had eaten them all. A woodsy smell came from the pile of beech leaves, and a dry, strawy smell came from the wheat. Outside the wind was screeching and the snow was whirling, but the South-Barn Floor was warm and quiet.
Father and Almanzo unbound several sheaves of wheat and spread them on the clean wooden floor.
Almanzo asked Father why he did not hire the machine that did threshing. Three men had brought it into the country last fall, and Father had gone to see it. It would thresh a man’s whole grain crop in a few days.
“That’s a lazy man’s way to thresh,” Father said. “Haste makes waste, but a lazy man’d rather get his work done fast than to do it himself. That machine chews up the straw till it’s not fit to feed stock, and it scatters grain around and wastes it.
“All it saves is time, son. And what good is time, with nothing to do? You want to sit and twiddle your thumbs, all these stormy winter days?”
“No!” said Almanzo.
—Laura Ingalls Wilder, Farmer Boy