In a Sow’s Ear 6-28-10 |

In a Sow’s Ear 6-28-10

Now that sheep and cattle are being served as lunch to wolves, coyotes and bears, it’s time to diversify your farm and ranch business. Step forward, get in line, rush to the Internet, get out your checkbook and become a Hornet Rancher.

The Japanese have discovered that hornets produce a “juice” that is wonderfully beneficial for all sorts of ailments and makes childbirth a pleasure. Hornet Juice, or to be more accurate, Hornet Spit, is the newest rage.

Hornet ranching is much more economical than cattle ranching. A hornet ranch doesn’t require near the acreage, grass and water needed to grow beef. Fencing is minimal as hornets prefer to build nests in old chicken houses, under porch eaves or in burnt-out tree trunks. Winter feeding is a snap. Hornets require very little hay and only minimal amounts of alfalfa.

A hornet calf is called a “grub.” Calving time is pretty exciting since one hornet nest can hold three or four thousand offspring. By the end of breeding season, hornet bulls are exhausted but they get the job done which is a good thing as it’s nearly impossible to A-I a hornet heifer.

When branding the grubs in spring, take care or you’re apt to fry the critters. Use a branding iron the size of a sewing needle or smaller. A magnifying glass can help. Don’t worry about ear tags as grubs ears are too short to support a tag. Unlike calf branding, there will be no “oysters” to batter, deep-fry and serve up with your favorite beer. Hornet gonads simply don’t cut it – frying wise, but you can still do the beer thing.

To begin hornet ranching, approach your banker for an operating-costs loan. He may be skeptical at first, but when you sign over your beef cows, your house and your land as collateral, he is bound to relent. Next, contact the Hornet Growers Association in Japan and arrange to have a bull and cow hornet shipped to you.

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It’s understandable that you get excited. Hurry to the shipping office to accept your registered bull and cow hornet stock. Unfortunately, the pair gets loose in the customs office and flies up to the ceiling. With a rolled up newspaper, one of the officers knocks the bull hornet down. Sadly, the fall kills it. The cow hornet expires from grief. The customs fellows flush the bodies down the drain. Your entire investment is gone.

What do you do now? Give the problem some thought. What do you have on your ranch or farm that could be a substitute for hornet spit? Grasshoppers, that’s what. You have plenty of grasshoppers. They’re always spitting. Round up a bunch of wild hoppers. Corral them in a five gallon jar, maybe two jars. Scare the little spitters into spitting. Dry the spit on paper towels. Finally, scrape the dried spit off and fluff it to powder form, add a tad of cinnamon and voila! You have Hopper Tea.

An iced or hot cup of Hopper Tea makes a delightfully refreshing drink. Hopper Tea is packed with energy. It helps burn off fat so that a Hopper Tea drinker will lose pounds within minutes. Hopper Tea has the potential to increase jogging speed to record-breaking heights, but the jogger should avoid flapping his or her arms when jogging too soon after drinking the Tea. One individual ignored the warning, lifted off, crashed through the third story window of a Marriott Hotel and had to pay room rent – plus tax.

Once established as a Hornet Rancher, the possibilities are boundless. Like Starbucks Coffee places, Hopper Tea Houses will attract millions of customers. You can sell franchises, which will help repay your bank loan.