My little brother is a businessman by day and farmer/budding cowboy by night. Why does this make me smile? Growing up we were the quintessential big city kids.
Every summer he anticipated our trip to the prairies where he could explore his western roots. Those visits were an all inclusive vacation package for him. He loved farm food, farm hours, farm chores with the side benefit of tractors, horses, guns, dogs, barn cats, cattle, cowboy boots and overalls. Manure was the smell of money or so he told me. I thought it was the smell of p and u.
Living his dream he moved his family into the country. Now he does morning chores before the sun rises, drives to the office for a full day of work then comes home to evening chores after the sun sets. He has dogs, cats, chickens, horses, a small herd of cattle and in particular, this one bull.
He didn’t always have a bull. When he first purchased his cattle his daughters and wife named them. They were so little and cute. Every night after work, he would enter the pasture and shake a bucket of grain. The cows, hearing this, would come over to feed. As the days passed they grew in size. One night he was shaking the bucket when a small stampede started and he survived the bovine assault by completing a perfect Fosbury Flop over the barbed wire fence. He called to tell me he survived the fall, he would have won the state track meet with that jump and that the grain shaking practice had been eliminated.
Many years later, he is getting quite experienced. With hunting season approaching he decided to move his bull to a neighbor’s pasture because his farm is adjacent a county highway and on occasion hunters have mistaken his cattle for deer…or so they have said. I think they were just irritated because this bull looks you in the eye as if challenging you to do something stupid.
On the day of the big move, he enticed his bull into a pen closing the gate behind. When all looked calm he climbed over the gate, entered the pen and proceeded quickly to the other side. He told me running with the bulls has taken on a whole new meaning for him.