Baxter Black: To judge livestock, one must juggle the possibilities
March 8, 2016
The judge stood in the show ring as the yearlin' bulls arrived.
Noted and prestigious, his reputation had survived
A thousand purebred standoffs and a million county fairs
And despite his regal bearing, he didn't put on airs.
“I’ve judged these shows for forty years. The cycles come and they go.”
Oh, maybe just a little but nobody seemed to mind,
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The purple robe and scepter made the show look more refined.
He stood straight with self-assurance and whispered to his aide
As the bulls marched in a circle, years of breeding on parade.
It took him near an hour to arrange and classify
But he finally stood triumphant to explain his reasons why,
"I've judged these shows for forty years. The cycles come and they go.
They either get smaller or larger and I just roll with the flow.
I sort 'em according to tallness. Their height from withers to claw.
I line'm up in that order, accounting for blemish or flaw,
Then I pick the size that's pop'lar and give that bull the high sign
And anything taller gets shuffled back to the end of the line!
It's a method that I've adopted that has set my mind at ease
And though it's often successful, not every purebred man agrees.
So, I allow for some dissension but like any Boy Scout
I always prepare for disaster…by knowin' the quickest way out!" ❖