I try not to make this column too educational but sometimes there is a need that can’t be ignored. When ranchers and cowmen work their cowherd, they are often under pressure to cull cows that they have developed a peculiar fondness for. Their excuses for keepin’ the ol’ darlin’ can be pretty feeble.
I present to you a list of excuses which can be used as a handy reference while yer standin’ there at the chute.
“I always keep the roan cows. They’re good luck.”
“She’s a good marker.”
“She’ll be good as new once the hair grows.”
“She can see just as well with one eye. Saw that horn off.”
“We can turn her out on the J.P. That’ll wear of those long toes.”
“My sister had a C-section and we didn’t ship her.”
“It just takes a little time for a knocked down hip to heal.
“I read Playtex has a new cross yer heart veterinary bra for swing bags.”
“So she’s a little thin … it’s just the Jersey comin’ out in her.
“I admit her head’s not too feminine, Ma, but that never kept you from settlin.”
“Since when do you have to have all yer teeth to be a good mother?”
“She weaned the biggest calf on the place in '14.
“My horoscope told me 10 was my lucky number and she turned 10 last spring.”
“I know she’s slunk her last two calves but this year might be different.”
“She’s always had a snotty nose and watery eyes. I think it’s hay fever.”
“You can’t cull one just because she can’t walk as fast as the others.”
“Her mother was a good cow.”
“If she had brucellosis, I’d know it."
“You gotta admit she knows the range.”
“She’s not weak, just gentle.”
“So what, even I have arthritis.”
“But she was Wava Dean’s first 4-H project.”
“I say as long as three out of four work, she’s worth keepin’.”
Baxter Black is a cowboy poet, ex-veterinarian and sorry team roper, who now lives in Arizona and travels the country, tormenting cowboys instead of cows.