Jun 23, 2009

Disasterous Stampede Averted By Rancher's 'Just-In-Time' Delivery Of Fresh Alfalfa

A massive herd backlash over decreased grain supplement portions and the outrageous amounts of manure left so thoughtlessly around the salt lick was narrowly averted this week when local rancher, Elmer Festoon, age 62, managed to get his tractor started (which some would say is an obvious indication of Divine intervention!) and delivered a huge alfalfa bale to the back pasture known as 'Grumbler's Glen", instantly quelling months of simmering anger and resentment on behalf of the herd.

The alfalfa, freshly harvested down by Steptoe and delivered to the Festoon spread just the day before as part of some 'feed for beef" barter transaction - effectively pacified the angry mob that had, by some accounts', begun to show the ominous signs of 'pre-stampede' behavior. "Well, I was retracing my steps looking for where I dropped my pouch of "Redman" chewing tobacco when I happened to glance up and saw a sight no rancher in his right mind ever wants to see" said 'Stinky' Snopes, the ranch's newest cow poke. "All I could think to do was run to the barn, bellowing to beat all, and warn the men that trouble was a'brewin'" said the brave yet decidedly malodorous ranch hand. "I just bought that pouch of chew and that is the last thing I needed was to have it trampled in the dust in some hellish 'mad dash to nowhere' by a bunch of disgruntled cows who don't appreciate a thing we do for them. All we ever do is slave, day in and day out, to make sure they are fat and happy - and this is our reward? Not many things in this world are as demanding and less appreciative as a dadburn cow! And hey, that tobacco cost me almost 4 bucks, with them new taxes and all!"

"Well, the herd has been fed up and ready to explode for weeks," said Sue Martin, an area animal behaviorist. "Cows are touchy and can hold a grudge, but when all that fresh, aromatic, utterly irresistible alfalfa showed up, it just no longer seemed so urgent to go galloping off in a blind panic, trampling down fences and getting farther away from the ranch - which suddenly didn't seem so bad, after all" she said. "Cows may be quick to anger and can fight dirty when provoked, but little gestures go a long way towards soothing their volatile emotions. All they ever really need to know is that someone, somewhere, really loves and cares about them. They are really quite sentimental when you get right down to it" she concluded tearfully.

Besides suppressing the overwhelming desire to cause uncontrollable chaos and mayhem, the alfalfa also served to placate the herd on a physical level - leaving many if not most of the bovines full and slightly drowsy. Insiders report that many heifer/calf pairs wandered off into the tall grass to take a nap - or at least to lay down for a while. Other herd members were heard cheerfully bellowing randomly or were seen frolicking and chasing each other for no apparent reason. "It was really kind of cute the way they forgot about their anger and just became cows again" said Stinky Snopes - before trudging off to get the shovel to clean the manure from around the salt lick like Mr. Festoon asked him to do last week. "I always love a good ending" he said, casually dabbing his suddenly moist eyes.

Ranch owner Elmer Festoon, who never wanted to be a rancher but was the dumbest of the 4 sons so, of course, was chosen to stay on the ranch and take over from his dad, "Old Man Festoon", said delivering the alfalfa was the right thing to do. "After 'hearing tale' that the herd was so unhappy, I wanted to make it clear to each and every cow how much they mean to us - especially with the price of beef going thru the roof and all," Festoon said. "Also, those cows I traded for the alfalfa were all on the cull list anyway, so it didn't cost me a dime, really" concluded the smug cheapskate - making a mental note to 'dress down' that 'no-good' Snopes kid for not following instructions in a timely manner and to remind him of the value of personal hygiene.

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