Your story sure brings back memories to me. My brother and I did the same thing for all our neighbors when we were that age as well. I would have been about 11 years old and my brother 12. We started out making 1 cent per bale. We would work all day long....the heat never seemed to bother us. We finally graduated up to 1 1/2 cents per bale. Some days he and I would ride our bikes home with 10-12 dollars in our pocket. We probably averaged $7 per day. Dang.........we had more money than we knew what to do with! When I turned 14, one of our neighbors hired me as their full time hired hand in the summer working on their dairy. He and his wife would take a 10 day vacation every summer and leave me there to take care of their entire dairy. 'Quite a responsibility for a 14-15 year old kid. He still shipped milk in milk cans to the creamery. I had to haul the milk cans to town as well. I drove his old Chevy pickup the 6 miles into town (no drivers license)and delivered the milk. I thought I was pretty big stuff doing that! "BIG MEDICINE" for a 15 year old! I remember those days just like it was yesterday.
I had an accident one summer with his old Chevy pickup. I was driving down this grade on a gravel road and the brakes went out. 'Absolutely no brakes. There was a 90 degree curve at the bottom of the hill. I made the curve but took out the neighbors fence. That was one scary ride. I walked to the mans house and told him I had run through his fence. He replied "probably driving too fast weren't you"......I said "no sir, the brakes went out on the pickup". When we went back to retrieve the truck and fix the fence he acknowledged "young man, you told me the truth about the truck". That made me feel good.