“Them cow lots was so sloppy I’se a’feared I was growing webs a’tween my toes like a frawg!“

This conversation took place at my favorite watering hole, a gas station, convenience store, and coffee shop, all in one small shack at the crossing of two county roads. The locals referred to it as “the mall” as in, “We got a probability seminar (poker game) at the mall tonight.”

“Well, the pens was the least of our problems. We like to never have got them ringy cross-bleeds out of that brushy excuse for a pasture.”

“Woulda helped to have had some dawgs.”

“Well the “wheel hoss” of that outfit don’t hold with using hounds; feels like they chouse up the cattle too much.”

“Oh, so that’s why he spent fifteen minutes chasin’ that goofy heifer around the pasture with the John Deere tractor and front end loader?”

This was a fairly typical exchange at six in the morning over “brown poison” brewed in a huge blue speckled pot. By seven o’clock the early birds had shuffled out and crawled into their pickups, most hooked to stock trailers with patient ponies standing saddled in the neon glare of the roadside sign. The “country club” crowd replaced the early birds between seven and eight. Then the whole shebang dispersed out into pastures, barns, shops and thickets. The cattlemen of Central Texas were back in business for another day.

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