|Okay. You do this without getting grimy . . .|
Ranching doesn't encourage cleanliness.
You heard it here first.
In fact, ranching and cleanliness don't go together.
Let me tell you about it . . .
I had worked on the ranch all my life.
And had finally been promoted to 'herdsman'.
Where I served for two glorious years.
This included such things as:
Worrying over herd.
Hovering when herd was ready to calve.
Calving out herd.
Eating and sleeping with herd.
Okay, maybe that last is a little extreme, but you get my point . . .
Sooo . . . cleanliness.
Cows aren't naturally clean.
I know this will come as a shock.
I'm sure you've seen the romantic pictures of mama cow licking her baby.
I have one thing to say about this.
How clean can that be?
Cows also have other orifices that are . . . nasty.
And to which I have one response.
On with my story . . .
I was ready to go to work.
Recently cleaned boots.
I headed out the door.
Bridle and riding pad on my horse and I was away.
We made good time reaching the calving field.
And almost immediately spotted a cow.
But having difficulties.
I decided to take her back to the corrals.
And restrain her.
That's as far as my plans went.
I grabbed the protruding calf feet.
And that's when the cow broke out of my hastily-built restraint.
Grimly, I hung onto the calf.
As the cow started across the corral.
Dropping me and her calf in the middle of a puddle of . . . let me put it this way - it wasn't spring water.
I got up.
Carted the calf to safety.
And headed for the house.
My mother met me in the doorway.
Her clean daughter had gone out the door only half an hour before.
Now, dripping from head to toe with . . . barn puddle, said daughter had returned.
Mom stopped me in the porch.
“You just left here. Perfectly clean!” she said. “What did you do out there!”
“Well . . .”
“Never mind. Clothes off here!” she ordered.
I was divested of anything gooey.
Whereupon (good word) I sprinted for the shower.
In my underwear.
Not for the faint of heart.
Or for the fanatically clean.
Okay, let's face it . . . not even for the somewhat clean.
Don't you wish you were here?