Free is a high price to pay (Best of) | TSLN.com

Free is a high price to pay (Best of)

The only thing standing in the way of Clint being a millionaire is about two million dollars. If you think times are tough in the beef business you ought to walk a mile in the rubber boots of a dairyman. The bottoms of Clint’s are worn so thin he couldn’t light a match without tearing his socks. He had to get a bank loan just to fill the truck up with gas. And wouldn’t you know with feed costs being what they are this is the year he’d have bad luck and all his baby Holstein calves would be healthy? No death loss and mostly bulls, what luck! These days dairy calves are as plentiful as weeds after a rain. If only there was a spray for them.

To make matters worse the birthday of Clint’s wife was fast approaching and he wanted to get her something real nice, like that new pair of smooth handled hay hooks she’d been admiring at the Farm Supply. So, Clint decided to load up 12 baby Holsteins and take them to market. This would double his wife’s pleasure, she wouldn’t have to bottle feed the calves any longer and he’d be able to buy her an unexpected present with the windfall from the calves. Heck, with the money left over he might even start his own bank.

Once at the auction Clint parked the gooseneck in a shady spot. Something in the back of his mind told him that he ought to go inside and see what the critters were bringing before unloading. (This would prove to be a terrible mistake.) It had been awhile since Clint had been to the auction so he was somewhat surprised by the new “blue book” on Holstein calves. Taking his calculator from his pocket Clint figured that if his calves brought the average price, after you subtracted a dollar for beef promotion and nine cents commission he would OWE the price of a steak dinner on his 12 head consignment. In view of the tax problems created by such a transaction Clint made another huge mistake and decided to try one of those new ‘strategic alliances’ he’d been reading about and sell direct.

Perhaps “SELL” is not the proper word in this case.

Clint went to his gooseneck and in the caked mud on the back gate with his finger he wrote, “FREE BULL CALVES.” He was so proud of his idea he’d have busted a gut but his was runnin’ on empty, so he went inside to see if someone would buy his lunch. He wouldn’t have any money for a birthday present now for his wife but she’d be happy enough that the calves were gone.

Over coffee (he couldn’t find anyone to buy him lunch), Clint commiserated with his friends about the price, or lack of it, and in the process bragged about his brilliant scheme of getting rid of the calves. One by one all the dairymen vacated the coffee shop, some leaving behind their unfinished pie. Clint was the last to leave, allowing plenty of time for the calves to disappear. Chewing on a toothpick to satiate his hunger Clint walked to the trailer and checked the back gate to make sure the last person had closed it. It was about this time that he noticed the 26 baby Holsteins now in the gooseneck. And one bad eyed cow and an old horse!

Recommended Stories For You

As a result of this incident Clint bought a lock for the back of his gooseneck and the Dairymen’s Association is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone attempting to give calves away.

This incident is just more evidence that the old bromide is for a fact… “a man’s wealth really is measured by the number of cattle he owns.”

The only thing standing in the way of Clint being a millionaire is about two million dollars. If you think times are tough in the beef business you ought to walk a mile in the rubber boots of a dairyman. The bottoms of Clint’s are worn so thin he couldn’t light a match without tearing his socks. He had to get a bank loan just to fill the truck up with gas. And wouldn’t you know with feed costs being what they are this is the year he’d have bad luck and all his baby Holstein calves would be healthy? No death loss and mostly bulls, what luck! These days dairy calves are as plentiful as weeds after a rain. If only there was a spray for them.

To make matters worse the birthday of Clint’s wife was fast approaching and he wanted to get her something real nice, like that new pair of smooth handled hay hooks she’d been admiring at the Farm Supply. So, Clint decided to load up 12 baby Holsteins and take them to market. This would double his wife’s pleasure, she wouldn’t have to bottle feed the calves any longer and he’d be able to buy her an unexpected present with the windfall from the calves. Heck, with the money left over he might even start his own bank.

Once at the auction Clint parked the gooseneck in a shady spot. Something in the back of his mind told him that he ought to go inside and see what the critters were bringing before unloading. (This would prove to be a terrible mistake.) It had been awhile since Clint had been to the auction so he was somewhat surprised by the new “blue book” on Holstein calves. Taking his calculator from his pocket Clint figured that if his calves brought the average price, after you subtracted a dollar for beef promotion and nine cents commission he would OWE the price of a steak dinner on his 12 head consignment. In view of the tax problems created by such a transaction Clint made another huge mistake and decided to try one of those new ‘strategic alliances’ he’d been reading about and sell direct.

Perhaps “SELL” is not the proper word in this case.

Clint went to his gooseneck and in the caked mud on the back gate with his finger he wrote, “FREE BULL CALVES.” He was so proud of his idea he’d have busted a gut but his was runnin’ on empty, so he went inside to see if someone would buy his lunch. He wouldn’t have any money for a birthday present now for his wife but she’d be happy enough that the calves were gone.

Over coffee (he couldn’t find anyone to buy him lunch), Clint commiserated with his friends about the price, or lack of it, and in the process bragged about his brilliant scheme of getting rid of the calves. One by one all the dairymen vacated the coffee shop, some leaving behind their unfinished pie. Clint was the last to leave, allowing plenty of time for the calves to disappear. Chewing on a toothpick to satiate his hunger Clint walked to the trailer and checked the back gate to make sure the last person had closed it. It was about this time that he noticed the 26 baby Holsteins now in the gooseneck. And one bad eyed cow and an old horse!

As a result of this incident Clint bought a lock for the back of his gooseneck and the Dairymen’s Association is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone attempting to give calves away.

This incident is just more evidence that the old bromide is for a fact… “a man’s wealth really is measured by the number of cattle he owns.”

Go back to article