I recall a short story (Ray Bradbury, maybe? King?) where a man and his family find an empty house in the middle of enormous fields of wheat. They’re broke, so they just move in. The man finds a sickle with some sort of inscription on it, and goes out to the wheat field and starts cutting wheat, which he then does obsessively from then on.
Gradually, you and he come to realize that he is Death, reaping souls in the wheatfield. Eventually, he comes across a stalk of wheat that he knows he is supposed to harvest, but he also realizes that it represents his wife.
I forget whether or not he actually cuts it, but he flips out and starts hacking down great stands of wheat that are not yet ready for harvest – and armies march across Europe, bombs fall on Hiroshima, etc.
This story may have been the specific inspiration for this episode.