In a Sow’s Ear |

In a Sow’s Ear

It’s positively enthralling, fascinating ” even awesome the way education and knowledge is brought to us. Just recently there have been articles in newspapers, radio and TV about auto accidents. Buckets of money were dumped into bureaucrat pockets to enlighten us as to these mystery causes. With brilliant insight, deduction, and surveys, the experts concluded that most accidents happen if you’re reaching for something while driving. Duh. Or using a cell phone while driving. Duh. Or putting on lipstick while driving. Duh. Or reading while driving. Duh. Or inserting a tape or CD into a player. Duh. Or worst of all, getting distracted and not paying attention to proper driving. Double duh.

Aren’t you delighted that you now know what might cause you to have an accident. If it weren’t for important research into matters such as the above, you would never have known how to handle your pickup, your tractor or your horse.

Like the time I drove into the borrow pit which was full of water and my rig sank to the hubcaps. Why did that happen? Well, I was watching alfalfa grow. The field I was passing was lush with new-growth alfalfa and, as I was admiring it, my pickup decided to take a bath. I got distracted when I should have been paying attention.

Or the time I bent the woven wire pasture gate into a pretzel while piloting the tractor and ” at the same time ” attempting to keep the horses from rudely shoving through the half-open gate. I accidentally threw the outfit into reverse instead of forward. The tractor took off and bashed the gate, bending it into an interesting corkscrew shape. I’d failed to pay attention to gear shifting because those darned horses distracted me.

Or the time I debarked from the pickup to check on a newborn calf and got distracted by the calf and failed to pay attention to Mama Cow. She accused me of molesting her offspring which caused me to come to full attention and roll beneath the pickup. Mama Cow dented the pickup door which made a match to the dent in the other door put there by the bull.

Or the time I put steaks under the broiler, then went to the pig shed, found a sow in the process of farrowing and spent three hours playing midwife. Talk about distraction. Finally, back to the house, I opened all the windows and doors to let out the smoke, turned off the broiler, fished out soot-black chunks and broke them into pieces ” with a hammer ” and gave them to the dogs. I should have paid more attention.

Or the time a distraction occurred while riding my mare. We came over a rise and a jackrabbit exploded in front of us. My mare shied half a block sideways; I lost a rein, a stirrup and finally the entire horse. She ran home. I walked. I should have been paying closer attention.

Or the time one spring when I was attempting to unbuckle a halter from a miniature horse and became distracted by a bee, slapped at it and accidentally bopped the little horse on the nose. He took off with me hanging onto the halter’s lead rope. I got yanked off my feet and for quite awhile I body surfed across grass, cacti, rocks and an irrigation ditch.

Or the time I fell in the ditch while trying to remove a beaver dam. I should have paid attention to that slippery bank.

Or the time I broke the shovel while using it to behead a rattlesnake. I should have paid attention to the force of my blows.

There’s a serious issue here. Farmers and ranchers are subject to horse, pickup, cow, pig, snake, beaver, irrigating and oven accidents ” and these are only the tip of the iceberg of hazards and mishaps that can occur on nearly a daily basis if you’re in the ag business.

The lesson is clear. Ranchers and farmers have got to pay attention and never apply lipstick while driving a tractor.


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