National Geographic : 1944 Jul
Britain Fights in the Fields British Combine From 5,000-Horsepower Bomber to One-horse Cultivator Is but a Step for the RAF Britain's air force, which has withdrawn so much cultivated land for runways, makes a repayment to the nation's food bank. In nine months, crews at this station grew 160 tons of food on 25 acres of odd corners. crawl under the table with you. My cats have had miscarriages after a bad raid. Cows sometimes give less milk after a bad night of bombing, but otherwise are surprisingly indif ferent. "I was in a pasture 12 minutes after a bombing had killed some cows and injured others,-but right there in the same pasture the rest of the cows were lying about, con tentedly chewing their cuds. Sheep are similarly indifferent to bombing (page 55). "People are different. You can't tell about them. My son in the RAF was home on leave last week and was in the kitchen with his sister when a raid came over. Jerry drops his bombs in sticks of six, and you can tell when they have all exploded. "Well, the boy dived under the table on the first one and kept kicking around, but his sister just counted them off, '-4-5 -6. There, now, that will be the lot. Come on out now, Eddy.' " The Mayor of Coventry told me of the re- action of an old woman who had been bombed out twice during the succession of raids on that city. The raids were still going on, and he had asked her if the shock and the terror and the noise kept her from getting a little sleep. When she told him she always slept soundly enough, he asked her how she managed. "Oh, at night when I get ready for bed I put on my nightgown and turn down my bed and then I kneel down and say my prayers, and then I take a wee sip of whiskey. Then I get into bed and pull up the covers and say 'To hell with Hitler' and sleep like a top!" But British farmers have other difficulties that are less apparent but more real as prob lems to overcome. One is the shortage of farm labor. Another is the scarcity of farm ma chinery and equipment, and shortages of feed and fertilizer. Another is the problem of farm prices, which haunts the farm scene in Britain as it does everywhere.