Farmer Eustace tugged the rim of his straw hat as he knelt on the cold, barren ground. He tutted dimly, shaking his head from side to side as he looked up and down the empty field. There should be sprouts by now: green tufts rising triumphantly from the soil into the open air. But there was nothing.
With haggard hands he scrabbled at the soil, poking his fingers into the mulch to discern the seeds below. He grabbed something compact and rounded and pulled it out, teasing it between his fingers.
It was as he suspected.