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It won't matter how fast I move this morning, I will be running late by noon. I have been up and going since daylight and am already late for the meeting in town tonight. I have found fence down, cow down, market down and now I am down!

Yep, the fence bordering the road to the west on the leased place was plumb down and for some unknown reason, to boot. The wire was not cut, the staples were not pulled, the posts were not bent, but the fence was on the ground. I counted the hides twice and they were all there. I went there first to check this morning. Good thing I did, but it is not the regular thing for me to do.

The cows there are dry, bred and older models that take good care of themselves, but one was acting a little different yesterday evening. She wasn't sick, just a little hateful as she grazed along by another cow. I watched her move a couple of her herd members as she moved along, shook her head and threatened them with bodily harm. She was down this A.M. and not ready to oblige me by standing up.

I got the trailer and loaded her in record time, about an hour, and took her to town. The vet said she was full of weeds and nothing was being digested. He gave her a dose of mineral oil and some Butazolidin and a couple of other meds to calm her down, told me to keep her up for a couple of days dry-lotted and let him know if she didn't get better. If cows could grin, she was as she loaded for the trip home.

I was listening to the market report as I sped along to home and, sure enough, the market has slipped south again. The choice a beef producer has is to take the market price or keep the bovine until they die of old age. I squirmed around and turned off the broadcast of dire news and did a little talking to Jesus about the whole thing of my being in my boots today.

I passed Vernon Osgood's place about that time, a fine home and good land at one time but now a place the teenagers call haunted. The land sold but the house was not modern with electricity and plumbing, so it just sat empty. Vernon and his missus don't care now and that made me realize where I really am today. I just spurred a little harder and knew my close relative would have my plate set and tea poured when I got there. All the other is just fluff.

It is my opinion, and everyone has one, if that cow in the lot dies, I won't lose all our worldly possessions. The fence that was down is not down now so forget it. It is only 12 minutes after my dinner time and I suspect I can haul in bales and still make the meeting of great importance on time this evening. A feed rep is buying steaks for the fellers he hopes to sell a few tons of expensive feed. Therefore, and because of old dead Vernon, I got a grip on myself and am a little ashamed of my self-inflicted pity party.

Not one word to anyone about the troubles of the morning, just keep on smiling!

Bill is the pen name used by a local writer and longtime resident of the Gravette area. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Editorial on 06/20/2018

Print Headline: Keep on smiling

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