Sunday, November 23, 2008

Uncle Cran done brang us another big tale...

Brangus Steer
(Image from Wikipedia)

Uncle Cran has finally sent in a farm report on his tussle with that ornery steer, which he identifies for us:
The steer is known as a "Brangus," a cross between a black Angus and Brahaman. He was probably mostly Angus, but had the drooping ears of the Brahama. Local Hill Billys call the Brahama a "Brahmer," from our Scotch-Irish heritage. He got his speed and dangerous temperament from that side of his lineage.
For those interested in learning more about this fascinating creature, go to either of two Wikipedia entries and get started. You'll discover that Brangus come in two colors -- black and red -- and that they thrive in hot, humid, tick-infested places like the Ozarks, primarily due to their Brahman heritage. The breed was developed in the early 20th century in the US, but also a bit later in Australia, and has stabilized at three-eighths Brahman and five-eighths Angus. The black Brangus in the image above is an Australian Brangus and may look somewhat different than the one that attacked Uncle Cran, but as you can see, the Brangus steer is formidable, well-muscled for an emasculated creature.

But on to Uncle Cran's story, to which we should listen solemnly, utterly refraining from any disrespectful interruptions at the ridiculous and unbelievable parts:
In retrospect, the whole episode was unneccessary, and in the final analysis, kind of stupid on my part. However, out of kindness, you may keep your opinions to yourself . . . (or not!).

Solution one:

1. Notice a neghbor's livestock in your field.
2. Notify neighbor.
3. Sit down, relax, wait for neighbor to remove livestock.
4. End of story.

Solution two:

1. Notice livestock.
2. Call neighbor, curse and threaten.
Follow steps 3 & 4.

Solution three:

Follow steps 1, 2, 3.
4: Help neighbor
Uncle Cran doesn't specify if a man should "follow steps 1, 2, 3" of solution one or of solution two, but I suppose that he meant solution one since cursing and threatening a neighbor, as in solution two, probably wouldn't lend itself to the friendly relations that usually serve as a precondition to helping that neighbor. But even opting for "steps 1, 2, 3" of solution one poses difficulties for solution three, for how can a man sit down, relax, and wait for his neighbor to remove livestock, yet also help that same neighbor? Uncle Cran doesn't clarify this point, possibly due to the medication having dulled his ordinarily razor-sharp mental acuity. But lack of clarity should never stop a story, so let's not interrupt Uncle Cran but instead listen quietly and respectfully to the tale of "too-dumb critters":
But being the resourceful individual I am, I came home Friday evening, and decided to solve the problem myself. Getting out my 250 Yahama Bruin ATV, I opened the gate, surrounded the two steers . . .
Already, this tale is getting tall, for how can one man "surround" anything, let alone two big Brangus steers? But let's not interrupt.
. . . and began herding them, roaring up to them on the ATV, yelling and screaming. Naturally, no cursing, just normal intellectul phrases such as, "HEY!" -- "HO OUT HERE!" -- with accompanying whistles and gestures.

After a few rounds of circling the field the two ran up to the corner by the road, the bigger one jumped the fence and headed home. The smaller one (maybe 600 lbs of beef on the hoof), turned back and headed for the back of the field. Determined not to be defeated, I revved up the ATV, outran him to the back of the field, and after a few minor skirmishes and trips around the field, I finally got him through the gate, and shut same.

At this moment, I could have declared victory, put up the ATV, and followed step 3 & 4. NOT THIS COWBOY!!!
Good thing, too, Uncle Cran, or you wouldn't have much of a story to tell. But steps 3 and 4 of which solution? Oh, let's not interrupt for clarification at this exciting moment.
The steer ran into the shrubbery on the east side of my house, and stood there. I was determined to finish the job and send him on his way. Driving up to the corner of the house, I yelled and waved, but he just stood his ground. Then I got the bright idea of getting off the ATV, picking up some rocks and getting him on the move. I got off, picked up a couple of rocks, looked up, and 600 pounds of murderous hate . . .
Uncle Cran might be projecting his own emotions onto the steer . . . but let's not interrupt.
. . . was headed straight for me, He rammed me full speed, knocked me flat. I grabbed his head, shoved it to one side, and he ran off to the tractor shed.

When I tried to get up, my leg was kind of twisted, and I thought my hip was dislocated. Getting back on my ATV, I followed him to the shed, and made a few more feeble attempts to get him to go, but he was ready to fight. I got off the ATV again, tried to walk, and my leg collapsed under me, and I heard a dull pop. The broken femur shifted, and I had to crawl to the ATV, drive to the back door, hobble into the house, and wait for Linda Gay to get home. Off to the hospital, . . . and the rest is history.

Now as I reflect on the fiasco, I feel my subtitle is apropos -- WHEN TWO DUMB CRITTERS MEET -- the biggest and meanest one wins. Please, do not bring up topics such as IQ levels, or other meaningless subjects.
Well, I promise not to bring up the issue of IQ because I don't have to. You already did, so I'll just satisfy myself with affirming my complete and solemn agreement concerning the subtitle that you yourself have proposed.

But I do wonder if that Brangus steer should be called a "dumb critter" since he . . . uh, 'it' . . . had smarts enough to recognize when it had the advantage over you and attacked at the right moment. So . . . maybe that subtitle needs some adjustment.

But I'll say one thing -- this story wasn't a lot of bull.

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At 11:39 AM, Blogger laughingwolf said...

lol... a lot braver than this wuffster ;)

ww sez i should acknowledge her as having sent me... so thx, ww :)

At 12:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A rare serving, Nephew....Grade A, Top Choice. You leave me with no beef whatsoever.

At 3:24 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Laughing Wolf, thanks for visiting. I had to think a bit to figure out who WW is, but I got it figured out.

I'm glad that you laughed, but that's more due to Uncle Cran's story, I suspect.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 3:25 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Uncle Cran, you seem to be doing better if you can come up with all those puns!

Jeffery Hodges

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At 7:28 PM, Blogger Bill said...

Uncle Rowdy, uh...Cran-Good story, leaving one question hanging. Who got "it" out of the shed, or is "it" contently digesting your tractor and awaiting a second round in a few weeks?
Nephew Bill

At 8:03 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Bill, I suspect that the steer was the one to "squint like Clint" in this encounter. I imagine it muttering, "Go ahead, punk, make my day," as Uncle Cran stooped to load up on a couple of rocks...

Jeffery Hodges

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At 9:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The steer "got" itself out of the shed, and while I was in the house trying to clean up, it declared victory, and ran home. Wife Linda met it running back to safety among its own herd. Which it would have likely done, if I had just left it standing by the house.
Which brings up again the question, "How many dumb critters were involved?,.........Did I mention I have an IQ of over.................(never mind)!

At 4:24 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Uncle Cran, you've not mentioned your specific IQ lately, but you might want to keep quiet about it under the circumstances, else MENSA be forced to tighten their testing standards.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 1:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think that Cran will be off to Pamplona in 2009 for the Running of the Bulls now that he has had time to reflect on his errors?

At 1:55 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

With his new hip joint, Uncle Cran is younger than ever . . . in part, anyway . . . and that fact, along with his enriched experience with steers if not with bulls, should be enough for him to run with the bulls of Pamplona.

Jeffery Hodges

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