How do crannies in my clothing. My you know when someone hands were a blur, franti- needs a vacation? cally patting myself down.
A while back, my wife and Fortunately the waitress I were invited to a friend’s was used to dealing with the Angora goat shearing. I was public—especially the ec- given the distinctive hon centric ones. Politely, she or—at least, that’s what explained that she’d marked they told me—of being the my drink with a chocolate designated mugger. covered coffee bean.
After two days of arguing Meanwhile, my wife with cranky range goats looked at me as if I had just about who was going to be belched loud enough to reg- sheared—me or the goat—I ister on the Richter Scale. To was beat. her credit, she waited until We finished that after- we were in the truck before noon and my wife and I she asked me what I was made a parts run to town. doing at the counter. In a hurry, I threw on an old Feeling like a schoolboy jean jacket I’d been using in caught lobbing wads of wet the goat pens and went out toilet paper at the restroom the door. ceiling; I explained that pre- Errand accomplished and viously they had always homeward bound, we drove marked the cups with grease by one of those fancy coffee pencil. shops where they make Then I told her I had nev- espresso and lattes. Pleased er seen a chocolate covered to relax and slow down for coffee bean used for marking the first time that day, my coffee cups and, at first wife ordered one type of spe- glance, it looked like a goat ciality drink for the road turd had rolled out of my cuff home and I, another. and ended up on the lid.
“Here’s your coffee, sir,” My wife laughed for about the waitresss smiled.
I glanced down in horror to see what looked like a little round goat turd sitting on the lid of my coffee cup. My tired mind raced to figure out where it had come from.
“Uhhhh...thanks,” I stammered.
Then it dawned on me. I had just climbed out of some goat pens. Whether I was on top or bottom of the argument was a matter of opinion. It was possible a few turds slipped into a wrinkle on my jean jacket or were scooped into an open pocket.
To keep from further embarrassing myself with more manure marbles rolling around the counter, I quickly checked all the nooks and 15 miles on that road home.
“I think you need a long vacation,” she said.
“That might be,” I agreed, “but it’s going to be a while before I go back to that coffee shop.”
Frankly, folks, I don’t object to taking a break, but as usual, discretionary cash is an issue around our place. However, I have a plan...
Early every winter, there’s a cow outfit near here that gathers their herd out of the high country and pushes them past our place for feeding and calving at home.
A dab of hay in the pickup provides incentive and leads the way. Then there’s couple of hands on horseback or ATV riding drag.
Most times, they’re moving cows in the middle of a howling, icy rainstorm. The hands rotate turns in the pickup—heater full blast— to survive the ordeal. For the most part, they’re a good-natured, but sodden bunch, moving by.
However, for the last three years, the boss has been picking gather dates with lovely weather. The guys are going by our place smiling and looking relaxed. Even the cattle are sauntering rather than running for cover.
Something has changed with this outfit. It could be extreme good fortune, Divine Guidance or anything in between.
“What’s your boss’ secret for picking gather dates lately?” I asked, kibbitzing with the crew at our front gate.
“We don’t know what’s happened,” they grinned, “but we’re sure glad it did.”
That got me to thinking there might be an opportunity here.
“Well, would you ask your boss if he’d mind if I rubbed some lottery tickets on him for luck,” I replied, “purely for investment purposes, mind you.”
The crew laughed and rode off to catch up with their bunch. So far, there’s been no word from the boss. — D. “Bing” Bingham (Bing Bingham is a writer, rancher and storyteller. Reader discretion required: this isn’t a wife-approved investment plan. If you have a story to pass along, contact him at email@example.com.)