I have dreams about calves and horses, and then the big kicker was hearing that my prize bull had become a steer, but not to worry; we had one heifer calf out of him! My close relative shook me awake because I was moaning and carrying on something awful. She told me to get on up and make coffee; maybe she could get in a cat nap! This perfect life ain't always perfect.
We know that no matter what we plan on, how hard we work at it, and how bad we need it, things can and will go wrong. That is because of an apple and a wayward woman who had a spineless man for a husband! Therefore, we will continue to make mishaps and sweat over trying to fit the wrong screw into the wrong hole.
I know you fellers are as grateful for every cent your place affords you in profit as I am. We live pretty close to the line and yet, we have more than we actually need to get by. The need is not ever as big as the desire to make more or do better. We sure like to make things bigger, brighter and shine in the dark. I remember when we would go to the big city with a load of calves, the barn roofs had the ranch names painted on them. Some had advertisements on the other side and some on the same side with the ranch name kinda little on the corner. This desire to look better and be better in your business is not new.
Pride can be a bad thing, but not if used properly. You take pride in yourself if you are clean, mannerly and use your brain for something besides an ear splitter. Taking pride in your family as they grow and do well is good, showing your desire to provide for them and that you care. Taking care of your business is also a matter of pride. I have seen some garages where old cars and tons of trash are stacked around the entrances and wondered how the feller ever got any new customers. I don't look for the neatest place of business, but I won't stop at a budding junkyard, either!
That is the way I feel about our cattle. I want to eat a steak from a healthy animal, one that is fat and happy and given every chance available to produce a juicy, healthy cut of prime beef. I do not want to drive by a pasture of our cattle, brands shining, and see thin, wild-eyed critters wishing they lived somewhere else. Grass-fed beef is OK if that is what you want, but my pride, I guess that is partly the cause, won't let me do that. I feed and de-worm, doctor any injury or sickness and am assured by those who know that the medicines are not stored in the body of the animal.
I like the sparkle of a good herd and the shining bull that is a standout and producing 50 percent of the genetics of the herd. He's the kind that makes me proud! So, I paid a basket full of cash for such as that and he is prepared to take over his herd of spring producers as soon as possible. He is the one I was "nightmaring" about when my close relative kicked me out. I was sorta shaky and glad when the coffee was done. I, sure enough, needed a cup of it for a good jolt!
It is my opinion, and everyone has one, we are allowed to make missteps and wrong turns to help us learn about the right and good ways. Pride is a help when we use it properly, keeping junk out of the yard, fixing holes in the fence and patching the pants our offspring wear to school. I will be thankful when that hole in the britches fad is over! I like clean cafes, decent offices in feed stores, clean auto salesmen and the hair of all folks combed! Pride is pretty necessary, I'd say, only if it applied to make us better!
Bill is the pen name used by the Gravette-area author of this weekly column. Opinions expressed are those of the author.Editorial on 03/13/2019
Print Headline: Missteps and wrong turns help us learn