Put mus­cle to the wheel and glean the trea­sures

Westside Eagle-Observer - - OPINION - By Bill Bill is the pen name of the Gravette area au­thor of this weekly col­umn. Opin­ions ex­pressed are those of the au­thor.

I am late again to­day, got up late, ate my break­fast late and got out late. Who cares? Sure not me af­ter all the cel­e­bra­tion go­ing on around here! We can’t seem to party just a lit­tle, not with these half-grown grands around. So we stayed up, ush­ered in the new year and got a cou­ple of hours of sleep!

I checked cat­tle and found all well. The springers are sure look­ing promis­ing and I get ex­cited about a new crop of calves. They are a calm group of cows, bunk broke and al­ways hun­gry for a bite of cubes. No prob­lems so far in the herd. You know how against the early Fe­bru­ary tim­ing I am. Just keep hop­ing all goes well.

I can say I started the year in pretty good shape. Still sore but, once again, some knowl­edge gained! I will never think I am so ex­pe­ri­enced and won’t step into the trap be­cause the snapped ribs sure taught a les­son. I guess a toothache is the only thing I can com­pare it to.

Fred New­some called us to say he is mov­ing to town to be close to his kids. Fred is no young man, a solid eight years past ninety. I agreed to go look at his herd to see if it would fit with ours, know­ing full well that it wouldn’t. I was gonna buy ev­ery bovine on the place, me and the banker, and make sure the barn and house were closed up good and tight. I just told Fred we sure would go look and I’d let him know.

The off­spring and I drove over the next morn­ing to look things over and there was Fred, lean­ing on a fence rail. We were greeted and shook hands all around and asked why he was still out here. He said that town air was pretty stale and he couldn’t hear a cow bawl or a chicken cluck at all! Fred was pretty shaky and so fee­ble I was wor­ried about him mak­ing it over to our truck. We loaded up and toured the herd as promised.

I was sur­prised to see Fred had up­graded and was show­ing us a nice bunch of grade cows. No cal­ico or In­dian paints in the herd and all were in good con­di­tion. We took the herd on con­di­tion of the mar­ket for the day and I got Fred to let me take him to his town house by beg­ging for an­other story about old times. The off­spring brought Fred’s pickup along and I did en­joy my visit. Some­one a lot tougher than me should take his keys — or, maybe, lose the keys or some­thing — be­cause Fred would be a dan­ger to him­self and oth­ers on the road.

I am pretty sure we will need to fence off an­other pond and drill a well in the north part of the eighty acres. That runoff wa­ter comes from so many more dif­fer­ent sources than it did when we built that tank. Now it gets high­way, chicken farm and a hous­ing project runoff, so I am not go­ing to de­pend on it for healthy wa­ter. Drilling is al­ways ex­pen­sive but we will have to do it to main­tain the health of the cat­tle there. We use that pas­ture for steers, and I want them to be able to gain daily.

It is my opin­ion, and ev­ery­one has one, this year is loom­ing out in front of us with good ideas and rich prom­ises. Our job is to put a mus­cle to the wheel and glean the trea­sures. There will be pit­falls, days of dark­ness and thun­der, times of parched ground and mean winds. We knew that when we came here and came any­way! Now, with a new time fac­ing us, we just gotta go get it! Help your fam­ily, neigh­bors and those who are needy. Take time to haul kids to Sun­day School and stop to lis­ten to a mem­ber of the Great­est Gen­er­a­tion re­call an in­ci­dent, these trea­sures are for the tak­ing!

Be good to your cook, that is the “mainest” thing!

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