A Man vs. The Man

Sometimes I’m not the brightest bulb in the box. I grew up around cattle. My earliest experiences were with tame, and I mean really tame, cattle. I’d even lure them to me so that I could jump up on their backs to ride. They were dairy cattle, used to being handled twice a day. They were also Bos Taurus “regular”, or European, type cattle. As the fifties turned into the sixties, we begin to see another type of cattle, Bos Indicus, or cattle whose origins were of the Indian subcontinent. Some call them the Brahman breeds. We called them “Braymers” or white humps, or “ear” cattle. The two types were as different as fish and birds.

One year, a friend from over in deep East Texas decided to trade bulls with me for a season. I needed a little of his “ear” in my herd, and he wanted some of the beefiness of the Simmental we were breeding then. I got quite an education with his bull. He chased me horseback. He charged me in the corrals so I wouldn’t even set foot inside a pen with him. I began to think of him like the Spanish do their fighting bulls, the Lidia. I kept watch for him out of the corner of my eye, no matter where I was on the ranch.

Finally the time came for me to, not so reluctantly, return him to the pines of Angelina County. I tried to pen him horseback. He ran me off. I got help. We put a herd of cattle with him, and penned the entire herd. He wouldn’t go in the corral. In fact, he took off and jumped over three successive “bobwire” fences to escape. We tried waiting him out. The sun went down. He was still there, outside the pen. Finally I got the idea to bait him with sweet feed. I put a pan out on the ground with feed in it. After I left, long after I left, he came and ate the feed. Over a two day period, I slowly moved the pan first into the corral, and then into the stock trailer (I had attached a rope to the pan to pull it deeper into the front of the trailer). On the third day he crawled in the trailer and I slammed the rear gates and we headed east.

On arrival at our friend’s farm, he opened the gates of the trailer, boldly strolled in and put his arm around the one ton bull’s neck, saying “Come on Man, let’s get out of this place, you’re home!” The Moby Dick of Brahman bulls walked out with him like a Labrador puppy. I nearly passed out. Then my friend explained “You see, the difference between European and Hindu cattle is that the Hindu type are personal.“ Well, I got it. It was clear that “Man“ knew him, and trusted him. As for me, I was “other“ and dang sure not to be trusted.

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