Saturday, July 1, 2017

Making wishes (on hay)

From the archives. This was originally posted in 2011.

Have you ever heard of making a wish on moving hay?

When I was a kid, anytime we saw a truck full of hay we would make a wish. You had to follow a few rules in order for your wish to come true.

1) lick the end of your thumb, hold it up, and let it dry as you made your wish
2) make the wish and don't look back until you're sure the truck is out of sight

I grew up with this crazy myth. I thought everyone did it. My mom was so enthusiastic about it I just assumed it was a natural method of making wishes. Kind of like carrying a rabbit's foot in your pocket. Or throwing a penny in a fountain.

But apparently that is not the case.

On Monday we saw two huge semi's full of hay rolling down the road in Napa. This was too good to resist so I made a wish. I can tell you what I wished because it already came true.

I wished that someone would call me about a job.

One hour later I got a call from a headhunter, then a Human Resources manager a few hours later. The next day I got two more calls. Then one more call yesterday.

So I tweeted about it. Cuz that's what I do when I get excited about something. I tell everyone. I can never keep my mouth shut.

One of my followers who grew up surrounded by farmland was bummed that she didn't know about this when she was little.

And then nine people un-followed me.

Holy cow. Really? Just because I wish on hay (and tweet about it.) Ouch.

I haven't had this much action in my job search since I started 3 months ago. So it was pretty exciting.

My brother says I got the calls because there's a full moon and yada yada. My husband just rolls his eyes. Elli believes in the magic of hay. I do too. She is also worried I'm going to jinx myself writing this story. Great.

It's just a myth. I sent my resume to all these people. It's just a coincidence they all decided to call me after I made my wish.

Oh, and just so you know, I Googled "make a wish on moving hay" and "wish on hay."  And I found nuthin. Not one thing. So guess what you'll find now if you Google it. That's right. Me. Ha.

So, I have to ask "Mom, where did you come up with this outrageous gag? It's time to spill the beans.

*Thank you Mike Lowrie Trucking and their Big Rig Video for the hay image.


  1. From the time I was a little girl, you always made a wish on moving hay......It couldn't be had to be moving. My Mom always yelled "make a wish - moving hay".I'm sure some of my wishes came thru because I have wished on a zillion bails of moving hay! I know you are going to get lucky - that's too much of a coincidence.
    Don't forget to hold your breath when you pass a cemetary...'cause if you don't it's bad luck!

  2. I've heard of wishing on moving hay while listening to a radio show from 1942 called The Great yes its not a myth.

  3. "When you see a stack of hay, make a wish and turn away, and never look at it again."

  4. I found this blog when looking up the phrase "hay and pig wagon (make a wish!)" because we were reading the Richard Scarry book "cars and trucks and things that go" and found the above phrase next to a picture and wondered why you would make a wish at such a thing. So clearly you weren't the only one!

  5. Around 1975 or so, my mother told me about making wishes on hay and the phrase that she used was,"See a bale of hay, make a wish and look away,"
    I still do this ��

  6. I also learned from my mom to 'wish upon a moving hay truck when I was little. Another rule according to her was you have to keep the wish to yourself.

  7. Just the other day I was telling my husband about this and he looked at me as if I was crazy! My mother (and her mother before that) always told me about wishing on hay trucks and not looking back (the licking the thumb is new to me). She also told us to wish on vehicles you see driving with one headlight out. I wan't able to find any Google search about the headlight thing, but I was delighted to find your post about hay trucks! I appreciate the validation that came along with it.

  8. While looking up my favorite superstition, I decided to look up "wishing on a hay truck" and yep, here I am. You are NOT crazy, or the only one. My mom was raised in Los Angeles and taught us about that. I'm now 43 and my boys do the same thing. I will tell you that I normally wish to win the lottery and haven't yet, but I did win $30,000.00 worth of prizes from the Ellen Show a few years back after wishing on a hay truck about it! (It was a month long contest and I entered every day!) I think I'll keep it up! 🤣

    1. My Dad was raised in Brooklyn, and he told us to wish on full trucks of hay! Nationwide!

  9. Thank you for this article, I thought I was the only one! My Nan told me this but to lick your thumb and tap it on the top of your shoe as you do it, no ideas why and there was no rhyme, which I will now adopt �� will pass this on to my kids some day too!

  10. My grandfather, who was raised in New Jersey in the mid 1920's, told me about this when I was very young. My sister and I both grew up in Montana, so we always made wishes on the semis that we passed on the interstate carrying hay. We were never allowed to tell the wish to another person and also had to watch the truck until it was out of sight. Still to this day I make a wish on moving hay, and I fondly think of my grandfather. Its a small world knowing that my family isn't the only one who did this! :)

  11. I am in England and my dad always said "Thats lucky" when we saw a truck loaded with hay! My dad passed away last year aged 86 and I never got round to asking him the origin of the saying. My mum has no idea why they always said it. I wonder if the saying came over with the soldiers in the war and the Brits got hold of it and changed it along the way. Whatever it means I say it to my grandchildren all the time and I hope in time they will be saying it to theirs one day!

  12. When my husband and I started traveling to Melbourne Australia from Brisbane, all of a sudden I kept seeing loaded trucks of hay and I had this urge to lick my thumb and punch my other hand! I realized that this was a long forgotten game that my grandmother must have told me about, since she lived in the country in Cincinnati Ohio! What a revelation! All those years of living oversees and I hadn’t thought about hay trucks! Because of the drought here in Australia, I have already counted 15 hay trucks loaded with hay for the farms out West! Good on them!

  13. I grew up with this and just got a bunch of crazy looks at work. My mom and dad both would lick their thumb, snap their fingers and slap their thigh as the hay truck passed.... I was beginning to think they made it up until i found this thread!!

  14. My mom did this all the time when she saw a hay wagon. She'd lick her thumb and hold it up until we passed the hay..

  15. Much like a few previous Replies, the routine that my parents taught to us kids from the U.S. Midwest was to repeat the following when we passed a truck or trailer-load of hale bales: "Hay, hay, load of hay. Make a wish and turn away." In our family, that rhyme was immediately followed by: "Chocolate, chocolate ..." as that was ALWAYS our wish.

  16. i thought my mom was making this up nice to know its across the US

  17. I looked up, “origin of shouting the word, ’Hey!’ when passing a hay truck on a road trip,” and found your article. My husband comes from a long line of punsters and jokesters and this practice makes the unsuspecting passengers reply, “What?” And look around for something interesting only to feel silly. He’d get me every time! We’ve decided to add the phrase, actions, and wish-making in order to be a bit more productive with our time!

  18. I passed a hay truck the other day, but Putin is still here!

  19. Thanks so much for posting this. My Grandpa grew up on a farm near Janesville, Iowa. On road trips, he use to tell us the a truckload of hay was good we know that we're not alone in this belief. #BELIEVE

  20. I don't remember how I learned about a simi full of hay, but my 11 yr old was w me and we saw one. I had never told him about this one. ( we do lots of silly things and don't know where it came from like lifting you feet going over railroad tracks, or hold your breath while passing a cemetery) Well today all I could remember was it was good luck or making a wish licking my thumb and holding it up. I made my son do it too as he looked at me crazy. After that I had to find someone as crazy as we are. There are quite a few lol. Thanks for the reminder!!

  21. We re in England and my husband thought I’d made this up! My Grandmother always to say make a wish on moving hay but I remember having to wind the window down in the car as there couldn’t be glass between you and the hay!


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