June 28, 2016


Those of you that know me, realize that I am not a brave person. Mice scare me. A 260-pound man that is scared of a damn mouse. I don’t like rattlesnakes, but give me a snake any day over a mouse.
I’m also scared of horses, bulls, and Shirley. That is why I have lived this long. If you are not scared of things that are bigger or meaner than you, you can get hurt.
Most horses don’t scare me. But if I have to step up on one that is snorting and blowing and hogging around, it puts a knot in my stomach and my throat gets dry. And I can’t spit.
And the other day I had to take a mare down to a neighbor to have her bred to this big, magnificent running stud. Now that makes me nervous. I don’t like putting a halter on a stud that stands about 17 hands and is snorting, blowing and pawing the ground. That is another reason I have lived this long.
This is the time of the year when ranchers in this area are hauling out bulls. I hate bulls. But they are a necessary part of production agriculture. They are miserable creatures.
They are much like teenage boys that are out of control. Whenever they have to move anywhere, a fight breaks out. They can be together all winter. They know their pecking order. You can feed them cake out of your hand. They line up and eat at the bunk together. They lie around and get fat. Much like older men.
But come spring or summer time, their attitude changes. They start pawing the ground and bellering in the deepest voice they can muster. Some only beller. Others are kind of quiet and ready to fight with the first bull that looks at them. Others kind of just walk by and wait to take a cheap shot at someone who is already in a fight. I’ve known guys like that too.
Now our corrals are not like the ones you see on TV ads. We don’t have a pen that is “bull strong and pig tight.” Our pens were built to hold a few saddle horses.
And trust me, when you bring a few bulls through a gate, all hell is going to break out. The bellering starts and the rumble is on. And when you get a pen full of 2,000-pound bulls in a fight, you are going to test the stoutest of fences.
Mine didn’t hold up again this year. I had bulls scattered in the tree rows and through the garden. Did I mention I am scared of Shirley?
I know she loves me, but she loves her trees and her garden more. And she made that very clear to me.
I’m going out to gather more bulls, and repair some fence. Then I am going to town to buy tomato plants and pine trees.
And I still have one more load of bulls to get in. Damn.