* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we watch in horrified fascination, but still giggling, at this bizarre real-life farm tale from Ricardo Angulo.

After That Rogue Square Baler Transformed Me Into A Living Hay Bale, I Chose To Use My Powers For Good

By: Ricardo Angulo

I’ve always been a loner. Neglected, dismissed. From the cornfields of southern Indiana to the cattle farms of central Oklahoma, I was God’s forgotten farm hand. And then came that fateful day… when that rogue square baler took a tragic turn, swallowed me whole, and malformed me into a living, breathing, heroic bale of hay.

Sometimes I lay stiff at night wondering, why me? Why not some selfless do-gooder with a hard-on for serving his community? Clearly, I was chosen by that heavy-duty baler for a higher purpose. I shed my human form and became this impervious brick of raw hay, but at what cost? What good is my complete mastery of summoning free-range livestock whenever they feel the need to eat, when it’s at the expense of my own humanity?

By day, I am just the overlooked company bale working as a seat on a hayride. Joan would never suspect that the mild-mannered square she carts around on a wagon every Saturday in November for children’s birthday parties is actually the notorious all-powerful hunk of feed with a soft spot for vigilante justice. She can never know my secret. The night she and I slept together, filthy rainy tears poured out of my inner spongy reservoir as she laid her body’s weight on my head. But I sucked it up, and stayed silent behind my aloof stoic façade.

It’s too late for me. She has a bright future studying biophysics at the state university. If I opened up and unmasked my identity, someone might hurt her to get to the real prize. And god only knows what instruments of torture some egg-headed scientists could design for the U.S. military once they perform their classified experiments on my super mutant exoskeleton of nutrient-rich animal fodder.

And what would Joan think of me once the national news broadcast my multi-million dollar citywide escape?

Would I still be her beloved cube? Or would she envision me as a six-sided monster with the heart-stopping potential to cause catastrophic rifts in this region’s ecological food web? What then? Blot out their Tiger tanks and field artillery with my telepathic army of seasonal straw mites until every last infantry soldier is obliterated under an awesome wave of skin itching? Demolish squadron after squadron of highly explosive F-35 stealth fighters with the help of a bale throwing attachment on the back of a tractor?

Destroy half the town while battling the bigger, blockier, more biodegradable version of myself released by their task force for this very occasion?

That’s a risk I can’t take. I was endowed with this god-like well-insulated box, and I intend to use it for good. To persevere outside the law and exact my own brand of justice on this rural township. This is the path I chose. I am not the villain.

I am the Haymaker.

This is my gift.

My curse.