In a Sow’s Ear
Fall is the time when: … Foliage turns into a kaleidoscope of reds, golds, and yellows.
… It rains in the valleys, but high up, the Crazy Mountains wrap themselves in a shawl of pristine snow.
… It seems as if every 24 hours is another holiday or school program you are required to attend, observe, or bake something to take to a potluck somewhere.
… Orange-vested hunters traipse about in search of wily game.
… Calves are shipped and ranchers hope their yearly income surpasses their yearly expenses.
And Fall is when we (a bunch of Wild Woman Women) usually put together the annual Toot, Snoot, ‘n Hoot Chili Contest, Comedy Show and Dance, a whoopup shindig wherein we honor the ranching community as well as our Armed Forces.
But this Fall, there’s fencing to get done ” lots of it. Those trees left standing in the blackened draws and hillsides are ghostly skeletons ” reminders of the awful devastation. What with shipping, fencing, recovering from the destruction, and the scores of activities crammed into Fall, we Wild Woman Women have decided to push the Toot doin’s into Saturday, Feb. 10, 2007.
“Late January, February and March are major calving months,” moaned Wild Woman Wendy. “Ranchers are going to be reluctant to take time out to come to town.” “Aha,” said Wild Woman Wilma, “let’s give the Toot show a twist. Let’s throw a Night Calvers ball!” “Great idea,” said Wild Woman Wanda. “We’ll invite everybody to come in their calving outfits.” “You bet,” said Wild Woman Winnie, “we’ll have a Night Calving Fashion show and award prizes.”
And thus was born, the First Annual Night Calvers Bawl and Chili Contest. The evening starts with chili makers competing for first, second, and third prize jackpot money. (The attending public gets to be the judges of best chili. And eat a chili supper).
The music and dancing begin; then a drum roll and the “Fashion Show” commences. My job is to write the narrative describing the outfits for: The Midnight Calver, the Lone Calver, the Breech Birth Calver, the In-the-Nightgown Calver, the Heifer Calver, the Snorty Cow Calver, the Colostrum Assistance Calver, the Call the Vet Calver. (Of course, sheep growers and pig raisers will also be represented, though we do hope the pig raisers will wash off their boots).
There will also be a King and Queen of the Bawl who will be “crowned” by one of the Wild Woman Women who advises me she is creating a smashing topper out of inflated rubber gloves. Once chosen and crowned, the King and Queen will take their place on the dance floor to lead The Night Calvers Waltz. (Tune: “The Tennessee Waltz”)
I was waltzing in the cowbarn
To the Night Calvers Waltz
When an old cow, she started to calve
Then she chased me round the cow barn
And while I was running,
That cow ripped a hole in my pants
I remember the night
and the Night Calvers Waltz
When over the moon I got tossed
Yes, she stomped me in the cow poop
On the night I was dancing
To the beautiful Night Calvers Waltz
Picture a room full of folks garbed in grungy chore coats, bibs, rubber boots, and scabby hats parading across a stage while the narrator describes their outfits in glowing verbiage. Then imagine the calvers in raggedy calving clothes gliding and sliding around the dance floor. It boggles the mind.
But, hey! You’re invited! Wear your best calvin’ outfit and come on down!
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Fresh spring growth is a welcome sight for producers looking for animal forage. However, this lush growth may also be the perfect set of conditions for a case of grass tetany.