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OPINION: Call the law and the sale barn when you get extra cattle!

by BILL | November 29, 2022 at 7:00 a.m.

Another warm day and I welcome anything with sun and no wind. The last week has been a preview to a terrible cold and long winter.

I have lots of automatic water fountains in the pastures, but I still think they should be checked daily in freezing weather. The cattle like to tell me they would rather be in a dirty old pond, one they can use for a private potty and not have to travel to drink! That professor who came and held our attention for a week of meetings told us how bad those ponds are!

Last May, a new and unknown 600- or 700-pound steer showed up with the cows and spring calves. He was red and almost brindle, long-tailed and had scur horns but no brand or tag. He was pretty gentle, maybe had been a bucket calf, and was just interested in the horses. I was pretty sure I could place him in the right pasture and hoped his boss would haul him home.

I called Leon the next morning and told him I thought we had a steer that belonged to him. He was sorta quiet and then said his wife had passed away after a car wreck during the night. I felt awful and sad for bothering him that morning and said I'd just keep the steer until later. I saw the steer this morning, and he looked real good. He has made himself at home!

We worked on the well house in the west pasture. The 45-degree weather was not warm when my body got wet! I knew the darn thing was gonna spray before it happened, but I am not as quick as I once was! Since it is a concrete block building and always holds up but loosens all the pipes on top we have to go every two or three months to repair it. We worked another hour and finally got everything done just before I was frozen stiff! It was late anyway and we were all tired, so we took off to headquarters. I was thinking about the cattle and that visiting steer came to mind. I suspect Leon could use some cash, so I decided to call him.

I ate warm stew and drank a pot of wonderful coffee before I melted down and called Leon. He sounded much better now, and I was glad to talk to him. We visited for about an hour, and he said he had not missed or even thought of the wayward steer since the time. I guess he probably couldn't even file the information in his brain that fateful evening. Agreeing to come over when we had him penned, we said, "so long," and hung up.

I told the boys to hurry with regular chores and get the lot opened so we could pen the spring herd in order to cut out the steer for Leon. I think we have fed him royally, and we have nothing extra to give away this year! The cows were feeling so feisty, they were awfully hard to get in I had Jake plumb sweaty and blowing hard. The calves are big and about ready to pull off their mamas, so it was a play day for them!

We ate lunch at home, and the stew was welcomed again, as was the coffee. The boys loved the dessert as usual and ate about all my cookies. Leon pulled in about ten minutes after I started napping, but I woke up and went back to work! The boys had guided him into the lot where he could back into a small chute for loading.

The steer followed the feed bucket right into the chute and was munching the feed like it was a normal feeding time and he was special! We all gathered at the side of the fence to look at the rogue animal who was not aware of anyone watching him put the feed to good use! Leon got closer and walked around to the other side. He just couldn't stop looking, and I figured it was because of the healthy bloom of the steer. He was fat and still slick but in the process of hairing up!

That steer is not one of his! He was adamant, positive and dang sure! He said he did not know whose he was, but not his! He said he had sold all the steers he had been pasture mates with and they were long gone before now. He added that he counted them as they were loaded and again at the unloading at the sale barn, nothing was missing! He thanked us and left!

Lesson learned and taken to heart, call the law and the sale barn when you get extra cattle! Leon was my thought, and I was wrong, but now I am going to take his word and eat the fat thing!

We were prepared for a feast of turkey and dressing and lots of kids! I am ever lonesome for the college kid and was happy to see them all at the dinner table or at the card table for extra room! Hope You are counting your blessings and naming them one by one! We are!

Remember the Alamo and pray for the folks in war-torn areas!

Bill is the pen name used by the Gravette-area author of this weekly column. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Print Headline: Call the law and the sale barn when you get extra cattle!

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