Read CHAPTER VIII of Bobby of Cloverfield Farm , free online book, by Helen Fuller Orton, on ReadCentral.com.

For a few days, Bobby and Betty and Rover had fun playing hide-and-seek among the haycocks.

“Well, Bobby,” said Father one morning, “can you and Betty spare the hay, so we can draw it into the barn?”

“Oh, no; we want to play in it some more,” said Bobby.

“We must put it into the barn before a rain comes,” said Father. “Come down to the field, you and Betty. Perhaps there will be some fun to-day.”

Prince and Daisy were hitched to the big lumber wagon. Father and Hobson took the wagon box off and put the wide hay-rack on.

“Come, children, climb up on the rack for a ride to the field,” said Father.

Father held Betty; but Bobby, sitting in the bottom of the rack, went jigglety, jigglety, shakety, shake.

And wasn’t it fun!

When they came to the field, Father helped the children off. Then he drove along beside a haycock and stopped the horses. Hobson pitched the hay onto the rack with his pitchfork. Father placed the hay around, so the load would be even on both sides. Then he drove on and stopped at the next haycock.

Higher and higher the load grew.

“Look at Father, Betty,” said Bobby. “He is almost up to the sky.”

When the load was high enough, Father called to Hobson, “That will do.”

In the middle of the load, Father pushed the hay aside to make a nest. A very big nest it was, too big for a robin, too big for the old brown hen.

Then he called down, “Bobby, how would you and Betty like to ride to the barn on the load of hay?”

“That would be grand,” said Bobby; “but we can’t get up there.”

Father said to Hobson, “I’m ready for the children now.”

Hobson lifted Bobby to the foot of the little ladder which is at the front of a hay-rack. Bobby climbed up the ladder and Father reached down and pulled him up to the top of the load.

“Here’s a safe place for you,” said Father, as he put Bobby in the big nest.

Then Hobson lifted Baby Betty. “You had better bring her all the way up,” said Father. “She is too little to climb the ladder.”

Hobson carried her up the ladder and put her in the nest.

“You may drive,” said Father to Hobson. “I’ll stay with the children.” So there they were in the nest, Father and Bobby and Betty, on top of the big load of hay.

All the way up the lane they rode.

“We must be close to the sky,” said Bobby.

“We’re on top of the world,” said Father.

Finally, they came to the Red Barn. The big front doors were open. Very wide and high they were, but the load of hay reached almost to the top.

“We must all scooch down,” said Father, “or it will strike us.”

So they all bent over flat on the hay, while Prince and Daisy drew them safely into the big barn.

“Now we must climb down the ladder,” said Bobby.

“Wait a minute,” said Father. “Sit quietly until I call you.”

Father climbed down.

“Ready, Hobson,” he called.

Hobson took Bobby over to the side of the load. There was Father standing below him, waiting with outstretched arms.

“Slide down, Bobby; I’ll catch you,” said Father.

Down the side of the load of hay slid Bobby, straight into Father’s arms.

Then it came Betty’s turn.

“It’s so high,” she said. “I’m ’fraid.”

“Don’t be scared; I’ll catch you,” said Father.

“Father’ll catch you,” called up Bobby.

Betty took courage.

Down she slid, down the side of the load of hay, straight into Father’s arms.

After that load was pitched into the hay-mow, they went for another, and then another, all day long.

Every time, Bobby and Betty rode in the nest on top of the load of hay.