Penny was to eat her words before the day was out. She had often, in Cornwall and on small farms in remote places, seen people stooking corn, standing the sheaves in triangular stooks, and she had thought that it looked very pretty and quite easy. It was a big shock to her when she first tried it for herself. To begin with, each sheaf weighed about a ton and, she discovered, to hold one while propping another couple or so against it really needed three hands, for as soon as she got one sheaf upright two others fell down.
From CROOKED SIXPENCE, Chapter 3, Fair Waved the Golden Corn.