The Little Longhorn Herd

Prissy Missy Feb 2013

When my husband (Dean) was living, he had two loves:  Boy and his longhorns.  He got his first two bulls from a friend who maintains a herd of them here and one in Tennessee.  He’s the same eccentric, mountain-man friend of the Muffler Morgue post.  The two babies, whom Dean christened “Tom and Jerry”, were sickly little critters.  Dean had them delivered to our vet, Tom Moscatelli, who kept them for weeks while he nursed them back to health and turned them into steers.  Longhorns are ‘good-fer-nuthin’ cattle who are kept nostalgically to look at, I suppose.  Tom and Jerry were not much to look at.  Dean built a corral and a fence around the back acres of our plant property for his new herd of two stringy little steers.

Tom and Jerry

He fed them the best food including Bull Builder that was supposed to transform them into mighty steers.  He sat for hours on his golf cart admiring them.  He kept them in the corral where they would be safe.  They were born in a herd at pasture and never approached by humans so they were a bit skittish.  Never mind.  He adored them and devoted considerable time toward their taming.  At that point in Dean’s career, Kelli and Jeremy had assumed the lion’s share of running the business leaving Dean the luxury to do as he pleased, and he did.   The steers were an integral part of that plan.

Dean taming Jerry

Each had his own feed bucket.  Sometimes they agreed to eat together.

Tom and Jerry at trough eating

Sometimes they argued about whose food looked better, and ended up squeezing their heads into the same bucket to eat.

Food argument

Tom was more reserved than Jerry.  When the boys saw Dean drive into the pasture in his golf cart, Jerry always came running to drink iced tea from the big cup that he knew Dean kept in a cup holder on the cart.  Dean said that Jerry would have climbed into the cart with him if he had been small enough to fit.  One day when I drove the cart into the pasture, a young Jerry came to investigate.  When he discovered that I had no iced tea, he lost interest and ambled away.

Jerry Greeting Cart

Tom and Jerry grew into big, healthy steers.  But, Tom got his horns trapped in a round hay rack and in his struggle to free himself, he slid into the pond and drowned one weekend when nobody was at the plant to help him.  It was a sad time.  Nobody imagined that a commonly used hay rack could be a death trap.  Round bales of hay are a pretty, benign-looking sight in fields all over Texas.  These old bales sit abandoned near the corral.

Hay Bales

When Tom and Jerry were older, Dean turned them out of the corral to eat grass and live like longhorns.  Two more babies arrived from their old herd.  Prissy Missy (left) and Fat Butt (right).  Fat Butt was not his original name, but when he grew into a gigantic bull with a huge set of horns and big, muscular haunches, Kelli renamed him.  Tom and Jerry were relegated to supervisory roles outside the corral.

Four Babies

Prissy Missy was calm and sweet from the beginning.  Fat Butt was just full of himself.  Here he is putting on his big-boy act for effect.  If anybody had said “boo”,  he would have high-tailed it out of there.  His was a convincing act, however, and won him a reputation as the bad boy of the little herd.  He seemed to know that he would be the sire of many sons if he established his dominance early on.

Pawing longhorn 1

Eventually, Dean turned the new babies out to pasture with Tom and Jerry to learn how to be longhorns.  In this photo (taken by my son-in-law) Tom and Jerry, who were still young steers themselves, were mentoring little Fat Butt.  I don’t have a photograph of Fat Butt as a full-grown bull.  He was a handsome fellow, and he was protective of the ladies in his own herd.  A rivalry arose between him and a Black Angus bull from the adjoining pasture.  Black Angus bulls are notorious agitators, and Fat Butt was itching for a fight.  Eventually, he’d had enough of the interloper, and simply broke through the fence and whipped up on the Black Angus something awful.  After three days of persuasion, the guys were able to corral him and load him in the trailer for the livestock sale.  I was sorry to see him leave us.  He was just too big and too rowdy for us to manage, and Dean was no longer there to intervene on his behalf.   I hoped he would have many ladies to court and many handsome sons in his new herd.

Longhorn mentoring

Prissy Missy grew into a sweet mama.  To date, she’s had three or four babies.  This is her latest offspring.  She looks a little tired and a bit thin.  Babies are notoriously greedy little critters for their milk.  One day, she will stop feeding this baby.  For now, he is glued to her side wherever she goes.

Missy Prissy and BabyTinkerbell and her young son, Hershey Kisses, and another youngster, whose name I don’t know, came up from the pasture to see if anybody had brought sweet feed.  They didn’t join in, but  they stayed at a distance watching.  Tinkerbell is the daughter of Fat Butt and Prissy Missy.  I never knew her, but I remember that her birth was cause for celebration since she was Prissy Missy’s first baby.  Prissy was very young and there was some concern about her welfare, but she fared just fine and was a good mother from the start.  I suspect that the Interloper sired Hershey Kisses (on Tinkerbell’s right).

Curious

Dean would be happy to know that Jerry is still here watching over the herd.  He is a steer so none of the babies are his offspring.  I suppose he is the patriarch of the family, however, since he can claim original longhorn status.  On this day, he was happy to accommodate my camera as he chewed on his hay and watched Jeremy and Boy shoot targets beside him.  He’s accustomed to noise as are all of the longhorns.  A train roared along the track beside the pasture, and the boys were shooting a rifle.  The little herd seemed oblivious to the commotion.

Eating Hay

As I left the pasture, I looked back to find that a somber Jerry had followed me part of the way to my car.  He was staring at me as if to say, “I remember you, but where is Deano and his golf cart?”.  Or, more likely, he hoped I’d return with sweet feed.  Prissy Missy was still standing with the herd watching me as I left.  I don’t visit the longhorns often, but I have fond memories of these first members of the little family.

Prissy Missy Feb 2013

183 Comments on “The Little Longhorn Herd

    • Thanks, Joshi! I appreciate your reading my little story. As you may know, I follow your portraits with intense interest. You are a master.

  1. Hi Geaorge,
    So good to hear from you again. I hope you are well. I loved reading about your little herd of longhorns. Fascinating! Loved the photos, the names you chose for them, and the way you brought them all to life for your readers.

    • Thanks, Naomi. I don’t get around as often as I’d like, but I always enjoy catching up! Bea is growing up all too soon. I loved the Christmas party and the “dusting off” of the stories. Your posts always make me feel good. I’m glad you liked my little story. It’s good to see you again too! :-)

    • Hi, Amy. I’m glad you like the longhorns. I have been impressed with your photographs. You really are a good photographer, you know. I follow you on FB, of course, so I know when you post photos assuming I don’t miss the feed. Thanks for dropping in to visit. See you soon! :-)

      • Thank you! I love your photography and your stories and have ever since I found your blog. Your words mean a lot to me. Thank you so much for following me and for all your encouragement. It really means a lot to me!

    • Hello, Victor! It’s good to see your face! I click on your posts in my reader to let you know that I’m still alive … when I manage to look at the reader. And I get your email notices. I just haven’t managed to get over to KSA recently. Glad you like my “cows”. :-) See you soon! Behave…

    • Hi, Leanne. Somehow, “cute” is not how I think of them, but I’m glad you like them. The horns are not a problem unless the longhorn turns his head suddenly and pokes you with one. These guys are mild mannered. It’s perfectly safe to walk among them when they are out in the open. I wouldn’t want to be confined in a stall with one if he got excited! They’re just big, but not mean. :-)

  2. I look at this again, so drawn to this post, must be from happy memories of the farm. My mind smells the straw, sweet and pure, and the corn silage, lol, imagining all the drunk cows on corn whiskey :D

    • Hi, Loca Gringa! I know what you remember. I remember too. There was no place as magical as my grandparents’ farm. I think anybody who has experienced a farm never forgets the smell of hay and animals and raw milk from the pail. I can still see the old cats hanging around for grandpa to squirt milk in their faces. And the huge mules! When the workers brought them in from the fields and unharnessed them, they’d toss the kids up onto their backs for the ride to the water trough. There was an overhanging limb on the path that would swipe you off if you didn’t duck. The mules didn’t mind. Nobody led the mules or watched to see that the kids didn’t fall off! But, it’s the memory of the smell of the barn that I miss most of all. :-)

  3. Nice picture story enjoyed reading it & the pictures are great :) sorry to read about Tom :(

    • Thanks for the visit, Yogini! I like your poetry and your philosophy and your sense of humor. Nice. I’m glad you liked the story! :-)

      • :) Thanks much George! Thank you for all your likes too, I am still learning to write better.

    • The longhorn project was a favorite of my husband’s when he was alive. The kids keep them because they belonged to him. They still name each one when it is born and remember the names. I no longer follow them very closely, but I enjoyed them when I used to work in our business and was there every day. Yes, we were sad when we lost Jerry. Thank you for coming to visit and reading my little story. I am enjoying your wonderful mannequin series! :-)

  4. I love animals, all of them ok a hyena but most of them..these longhorns are so beautiful.
    beautiful Photo story George
    gotta tell you you guys chose some of the funniest and cutest names for them..My fav..Prissy Missy and Fat butt. :D

    • Haha. I can’t manage to love a hyena either. I’m glad you liked my little story, Soma. The kids always name each calf when it is born, and remember the names. Each longhorn has a different personality too. I don’t know the young ones, but I enjoyed the older ones as they grew up. The kids keep them because my husband loved them. Thank you for coming to visit. I hope all is well with you! :-)

  5. Superb compositions of some superb creatures. A lovely post. We lost a family pet (member) recently, so you managed to choke me up a bit with a Longhorn tale. :)

    • Yes, it is surprisingly difficult to lose a family pet. We take them for granted although we know they won’t live as long as we do. Then we are devastated when we lose them. It’s amazing how those creatures insert themselves into our lives with such exuberance and bring such joy with them. Thank you for always encouraging me, Joseph. I’m happy that you liked my story! :-)

  6. A delightful and heart-warming story. The photos are gorgeous and tell the essay beautifully on their own. A strong documentation, too.

    • Well, Munchow, you are a generous man. When I looked at your last post, I was struck by the contrast between the header photographs and the Instagram photographs. At first glance and for a second, I thought the post was somehow switched between two blogs! My second thought was that the master painter is playing with crayons! I am a total point-and-shoot person, of course, but I appreciate the creative mastery of a photographer like you. I am impressed by the way in which you embrace anything that produces an image. I often wonder how difficult it must be for a photographer like you to look at photographs that amateurs like me are posting here. You are kind to take the time to read my little story and to leave such an encouraging comment. You are right; the digital age is allowing people like me to record decent images. Still, brushes and paints don’t paint masterpieces and neither do digital cameras. ;-)

      Thank you very much for stopping by.

    • Thank you, Rick. I have a half-written note to you. :-) Thanks for visiting the longhorns. Glad you liked them. Dean was certainly taken with them. I will be around to your place tomorrow, I swear!

  7. Beautiful post George – it’s a bit of a toss up for me sometimes – sheep or cows? These photos and the story are so lovely. Tinkerbell – I love that name for such a stately looking cow (i’m sure she was a sweet calf)

    • Hi, Chas. Yes, Tinkerbell was a sweet little calf. Thank you for the visit and for your kind comment. I love sheep too, however they require more attention and shearing. I have not seen many sheep where I live. Goats are in abundance. I enjoyed your posts on the gnomes’ rejection of Mickey D’s. The gnomes have it about right. I hope they prevail. :-)

      • Thanks George -It’s a long road for the gnomes – but they can be very determined. Thanks so much for dropping by and looking at my blog as well – so nice of you to have a look through. Keep blogging!

  8. I live in Texas, near Austin, and see Longhorns every single day. I forget how beautiful they are until I see them in settings like your wonderful post. Thanks!

    • Hi, Robini, I live in Texas too. Victoria. We’ve enjoyed our little herd of longhorns. I am originally from NC so I was unfamiliar with the breed until we moved here in 1976. I’d never seen a longhorn up close until my husband got two of them from a friend. I visited your blog and really liked the dog paintings in the Dia de los Muertos style. Thank you for visiting and reading my little story. :-)

      • You’re so welcome! And thanks for your compliments about my art! So, I guess we’re neighbors of sorts. Victoria is only about 1.5 hours from La Grange. In Texas, that’s close! :-)

        A couple of years ago, my assistant at the time saw her first longhorn via a photo on the internet. She gasped and said, “What have they done to that cow? There’s blood or something splattered all over it! Oh my God!” I hurried over to her computer to see what she was so worried about and realized that she was referring to the spray of dark orange speckles across its fur. She thought it was blood. She had recently moved to Texas from Baltimore. Haha!

  9. Your post caught my eye because of the cows and wow I’m so glad I stopped to look! The picture of the cattle in the woodland is splendiferous and lovely and makes my heart sigh. ;) How sad about Tom, I have heard of the same kind of thing over here, there must be a bit of a design fault with some of this equipment. Only last year I rescued a sheep which had got its head stuck in a feeder, it was panicking and probably not long for this world. As an old farmer once said to me (about sheep) ‘they’re either going like a train…or dead’ !!

    • I just lost my reply! Auuugh! I was excited to find your story about the bale house. An old friend of mine had a plan to build one on her country property where she kept cows, goats, ducks, chickens, and a hodgepodge of other critters. She was an earth-friendly person in her very bones. I had never heard of the bale house until she sent pictures. She never owned a computer so she did all of her research through books and sending for information and research by snail mail. She died before she could realize her dream. She would have loved reading about your life on the little “farm” and the bale house. She hand-raised prize Brahma cattle for the Cattleman’s Association here for years. She told me that they cry actual tears when they are sad. She loved those beauties. Thanks for visiting my little story. I look forward to following your adventures!

      • Hi, Angelia. I’m happy that you enjoyed the story. I just visited your cherry blossom tattoo post. The tattoos that you show there are beautiful. If I were a young woman yearning for a tat, I’d love one of the cherry blossom trees that wrap around the side. Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment. I will be back to discover more of Dixieland Country. :-)

  10. I am stunned by the beauty of your images and the sweet story about your husband, Dean. I keep viewing them over and over, and I feel as though I’m watching a carefully choreographed ballet. There is an art to your photography, and I feel like I just witnessed something very special! I regret that I missed your Freshly Pressed moment while I was out hiking those Hollywood Hills. Congratulations, George!!!
    xoxo
    Elisa

    p.s. I can’t wait to show these to my daughter.

    • Most of them are old photographs. I am sorry that I never photographed Fat Butt after he grew into such a beautiful bull. I’m glad you liked them. The FP thing is nice. I have found some really interesting blogs from it. I’m sure the animal editor was happy to find something to press that wasn’t a lion or a chicken or a dog even if it is a folksy tale. I’d guess they chose this story because it is about a novelty breed. As Lemony said, showing up there isn’t the horror story it used to be when FP was on the front page of WordPress, and you got tons of spam messages from it. Now, you have to choose to look at FP. Something that I don’t ever do, actually. All of us are so pressed for time that we can barely follow the blogs we love and have followed for a long time. There are so many wonderful blogs here. Thanks for the nice appraisal. :-) You are always so encouraging to me. You know I grin from ear to ear when I see that face…

    • Thanks, Scott. I’m glad you enjoyed the story. Dean really did enjoy them too during his last years. I don’t visit them often now, but I like to go out there once in a great while to see who has had a baby and how the old friends are faring. :-)

      • You’re welcome, George…reading (listening to) your stories makes me feel like we’re sitting together at your kitchen table, or maybe out on a porch swing…just soaking in the friendly conversation, sharing our lives…binding our souls…such a wonderful time, really. And I can imagine it’s a lot of fun, or comforting anyway, to visit with the herd every now and again…must be really nice….

        • Yes, I do enjoy visiting the little herd. And, I would love to visit with you on the porch. We have a kind of shared history. Perhaps, we sat there in another lifetime. :-) Or, we’ll catch up in the next. Thank you, Scott. You always encourage me.

  11. Pingback: The Little Longhorn Herd | harunicorn's Blog

  12. it reminded me of the cattle in the highland of Scotland…..just looking at your photos makes me miss the countryside…thanks for sharing…

    • Hi, Susan. I bet the cattle in the highlands are rugged critters too. I never thought about the longhorns sharing characteristics with other cattle around the world, but I am sure they do since they are the result of breeding standard breeds with hardier ones to produce a breed that could withstand the harsh climate in Texas and the long cattle drives to market. Thank you for the visit and the observation. I enjoyed my visit to your place too. I will be back to sample your itchy-foot adventures to exotic places around the world. :-)

      • I am not familiar with the different breed of cattle, they do look the same to me though for sure they have their distinct differences….but what i like about cattle is the feeling of being in a countryside…i remember when i was living in Africa, i always look forward to traveling late afternoon in the countryside because the cattle line up to head back to the ranch…im so amazed at how they find their way without any guide from the owner. the cattle there looks the same as that of Asia…but probably different in breed. thank you so much for all the nice comments not just to one of my posts but to a number of my photos…i enjoyed reading it and made me smile when i woke up today….

    • I just visited Longhorns and Camels. I am interested to read about your adventures since I am mostly unfamiliar with Dubai. Thank you for the kind comment. I appreciate the visit too. :-)

      • Thank you so much for stopping by and for the ‘likes’ – very nice of you. :) I didn’t know too much before moving here either – it’s a fascinating place – I’m happy you’ll be reading along!

  13. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog, seeing the photos and the comments from all the people who find cattle interesting. I photographed a small herd of longhorns in Tubac, AZ. and did some paintings of them which are posted on my website. No one understands why I paint longhorns. We also have a fairly large herd in Pagosa Springs, CO. where we summer. I find them magnificent and my understanding is that they are real old-time, hardy cattle and good mothers. I am not a rancher but live in a ranching area; our house sits on land that is still considered free range. We have a regular visitor – a huge Hereford bull who grazes in our so-called backyard. Luckily he is very laid back and sweet-tempered, but as I said very huge so he can graze where he wants.

    • Your blog is a wondrous place. I am happy that you wandered in here to visit the longhorns because I followed you home. And what a place it is. I came away with this wonderful poem:

      Entombed
      by Foxstone

      A tight-knit confinement

      Leather-bound cover

      Strangled with lace

      And left to rot!

      So it smells like death

      When the shoes come off.

      _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

      I was sorry to leave. I will be back. Thank you so very much for your visit.

  14. I think those long horn cattle breed are not raised in our part of Canada –in Alberta. Maybe they don’t tolerate our -25 degree C winters. Lovely cattle there. My partner was a part-time farmer on weekends for a decade in Ontario with several head of cattle. (beef, not dairy)

    • You may be entirely correct. They were bred to withstand the heat and the harsh, dry conditions of Texas. Hardiness and the ability to survive the long cattle drives made them ideal. I don’t know if there are any of the old stock around today, perhaps. Most of the ones we see in pastures now have been bred with the Herefords, Angus and other domestic breeds. Thanks for stopping by to visit the little herd! :-)

    • Thank you very much. We enjoy the cattle, especially the ones who have been with us for a long time. I appreciate your stopping in to visit. :-)

  15. After my uncle retired he traded his hereford/angus cattle and started raising long horns. Long horns have a totally different personality – and were much wilder. You couldn’t wander among them like the more domesticated herds. Such beautiful animals!

    • Your uncle raised them simply because he enjoyed them. I think many people keep a few longhorns for that reason. The old breed is part of a tradition that these guys maintain. There is a certain mystique surrounding them and their story. Our longhorns are not wild because they live in a small herd with lots of contact with humans. They do have a different temperament though. I don’t think they are naturally as docile as the Herefords or the Angus having been bred to be resistant to the harsh climate and to have the ability to walk for long distances. No matter how fat ours get, the stringiness is still apparent. Thank you for dropping in to visit. I appreciate that! :-)

  16. I absolutely enjoy Longhorns. Being a native Texan, the Longhorn (to me) is the most beautiful, and most interesting breed of cattle. My Grandad used to own a few until he became to old to handle them. Thanks for posting this; I really enjoyed it. :)

    • I didn’t grow up in Texas, but I’ve been her for thirty-seven years. I came to love the longhorns as my husband did. They are unusual and often striking animals to look at. We had a near-perfect bull, but I failed to photograph him. Dean loved them all regardless of their horns or markings. He kept them because he enjoyed them. We are not ranchers or farmers. We still keep his little herd because they were his “Boys”, although the kids complain a bit about how much they cost and how much trouble they are. I think they’ve grown attached to them too. Thanks for going along with me on this little nostalgic trip. I’m happy that you enjoyed it. :-)

  17. I grew up on a farm then spent a life in the military. I loved my life and am glad I didn’t stay on the farm, but it was still nice to read this post and see the pictures. Very nice in deed.

    • Thank you for stopping in to reminisce with me! Longhorns are not the cattle I knew growing up. They are something of a novelty breed. The folks who keep them, love them. My husband was one of them. I’m glad you enjoyed seeing them here.

  18. Enjoyed your delightful images and the flashback George. Pity about Tom :-(
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed…..long overdue in my opinion :-)

    • Thank you, Madhu. I’m happy you enjoyed the little story. Yes, we were horrified when Tom died in such a terrible way. We didn’t know much about cattle and had no idea that such a thing could happen. Dean enjoyed the “Boys” during the last years of his life. That was good. Thanks for stopping in to visit!

  19. At long last the greater world-at-large will get a look into one of the most compelling storytellers on WP. Congrats George and congrats to WordPress for getting this one right for sure. As we both truly know, the Longhorn is indeed NOT good for nothing :-) You are the perfect candidate for FP monitor as you do not sleep much anyway. Enjoy this and thank you for letting me know. I found out that I lost an old friend recently so this wonderful piece of news made my morning!
    Grannie, you are a badass!

    • I just visited your blog for a couple of clicks. I was struck by the way in which your photographs manage to nudge us in the ribs to remind us that nature could do without us, indeed. Your execution of the message is superb. Thank you for your visit here. I’m happy to offer a reason to smile. We could do with more smiles, couldn’t we! :-)

    • Hi, Frank! Thank you for the visit. Yes, it is good to see our friends get a little pat on the head. I continue to expect you to revolutionize the education system, you know. I think you may be our last best hope. :-) I do appreciate your taking the time to stop in and read my little story. Yes, I really do.

    • Hello, Sue.! Thank you for reading my little story. Dean thought his longhorns were beautiful too regardless of their horns or their markings. That’s part of the mystique of the longhorn. People who keep them have a real affection for the old breed. A nostalgic reminder of the old days. Thank you very much for the visit! :-)

    • Ah, thank you, Debra. You shouldn’t have troubled yourself to return for the congratulations, but I appreciate it. I was just at your blog earlier and go too engrossed in the new fabrics and cuts and accessories to leave. I finally dragged myself back to my duties. I will return. The new spring designs and colors really are gorgeous. The dropped-crotch pants can go along with the legging/pants. I loved the blue and white combo with black … new cut too that looks fresh. Oh, George, stop it. Thanks for the visits. I am so happy to have found you and your blog! :-)

    • Thank you Chlobbe. I’m glad you like the longhorns. Thank you for visiting. I appreciate your taking the time to comment too. Come back any time you like. :-)

    • Yes, it is. The mama sways when she walks like a grand lady ship. I think it’s fascinating too. We always worry just before they calve for fear we’ll miss the event and the cow will get into trouble. So far, that hasn’t happened. Thanks for stopping to comment. I appreciate the visit.

    • Hi, Grumpa! Unlikely, they are. Dean thought they were ideal pets. The guys at the plant thought they were a pain in the butt since Dean ordered them to feed and haul hay often. They are gentle animals, but I wouldn’t classify them as pets. They are domesticated, but they’re a little too big to be lap babies! :-) You do form attachments to them, though. They have distinct personalities. Thanks for the visit. Glad you liked the “boys” as Dean called them.

    • Longhorns are awesome. There’s some Amish people in New York I’ve seen with them, but I haven’t seen too many others. They’re not too popular compared with Holsteins in the northeast.

      • The Amish in Tennessee keep them as do some in Texas. Longhorns really are not much good for anything. They certainly aren’t a commercial breed. Dairy and beef cattle are the usual here too. I enjoyed visiting your blog. You’re a talented writer, James. I’ll be back. Thanks for the visit. :-)

        • thank you very much! Makes me wonder why they were so popular in Texas in the 1800’s. Did they not have other breeds? Im not sure.

          • Yes, there were other breeds, but I don’t know which ones. The longhorn was bred to be able to tolerate the harsh climate, especially the heat and drought. They also had to be able to walk for many miles when they were driven to market. They were a stringy breed and still are. Today, we value marbled beef so the longhorn is out of fashion, I suppose. I don’t know the history well enough to tell you about it, but much as been written on this symbol of the old west. Thanks, James.

    • Dean thought they were wonderful. Thanks for the visit, Karen. I was at your blog admiring the fog images. Incredible. And, consistently so.

  20. Sucha beautiful story George!
    I was missing this blog a lot, and I’m so happy you posted again.
    The photos are as usual spectacular; the colors in all of them are amazing,

    • Thank you, Sweet Pablo! I haven’t seen a post on your blog either. I think you missed my last post. I keep hoping you’ll tell the story of your Syrian grandparents. And post my parrot picture. ;-) I suppose you are back in class this month. How goes it? Glad you liked my pictures and the story of Deano’s longhorns! :-) Let me know if you post and I fail to see it.

      • My last post was about my holidays in the coast, and I’m pretty sure you saw it :)

        I have to take time to go to my aut’s place, visit her and snap some photos of the parrot, that’s something in my to do list :)

        And yes, I’m back in class, I started again last monday and this semester seems to be really hard, but I’ll do my best to spare sometime and keep taking photos :)

    • No, I wouldn’t have thought of them as cute either, Jess. Sometimes they are funny and the babies are cute. They look kind of cute when they chew. It seems as if they’re talking if you look at their mouths. Thanks for the visit. Come again! The door is always open here. You make your own tea, however. ;-)

    • “Walk into the realm of oneself”… You are wiser than your years, child. Your blog is beautiful. Your thoughts are universal truth. I will be back.
      Thank you for visiting me and for your kind comments. I’m happy that you liked my little story. :-)

  21. This is such a great story…..I loved everything about it…but sad over the drowning…..what beautiful animals…I’ll bet they made Dean really happy…Melvin, who owns Bob and the rest of “The Boys”, goes out in HIS golf cart everyday to care for them :)

    • Thank you, Suzanne. Yes, Dean adored them. I was happy that he was able to enjoy them during his last years. He would have said, “Anybody with good sense would think the boys are pretty”. And that would have been the final assessment. It tickles me that Bob travels in his golf cart too. It must be an old man thing. Actually, the guys at the plant use them and little Japanese trucks (that you can’t drive on the highway) to run around the plant. Thanks for the visit. See you soon. I love the hardback version.

    • Welcome, Ottoman. I just scrolled through a few of the posts on your blog. Ah, you instruct us on the finer points of the foulard. I was delighted to see a pair of Crivellaro shoes too. The Italians produce the very best leather shoes. I will return for a longer visit. You are a fan of cattle; I am a fan of fashion! Thank you for the visit.

  22. awe poor bull, to drown like that, the baby was very cute, you know what this reminds me of? city slickers the movie. they had alot of very color ful cows on that. they do become pets just like any animal can be. the ones here are pretty too. those horns look formidable, no wonder the old cowboys cut them off. they can skew you really bad. OUCH!!!

    • Hi, Roberta. Yes, cows do become comfortable to be around people. Most of ours are approachable. They are not aggressive toward people. We really don’t have a longhorn who has big, wide horns now. Those are dangerous simply because the cow will turn its head and catch you accidentally with a horn. They aren’t as smart as your horse, you know. Horses try not to run over people. Cows just run. :-) Thanks for the visit. You gave me a chuckle thinking about City Slickers. :-)

    • You actually did post a bull, and his antelope kin live in Texas. A serendipitous event. I found out about the antelope and introduced myself to your blog. It’s such an appealing place too. Thanks for visiting and educating me in the process! :-)

  23. I am just now getting around to reading this blog…..beautiful pictures and story. The longhorns are awesome creatures….though there is always a certain amount of danger when you are around them. They are just so large. My father in law had a big old longhorn bull. He loved for you to scratch between his horns and eyes and down his nose. When we would go out to the farm he would come running to the fence and the kids and I would all take a turn at scratching and rubbing. One day my father in law was out by himself and went inside the pen as he always did. The longhorn would follow him around like a pup. The problem came when my father in law got a little too close to the side of the barn which also served as one side of the pen….the bull cornered him with his horns and actually penned him up against the barn. He wasn’t hurt, but the horns were on each side of him and pressing against the wall. He tried everything to get the bull to move….hollered at him, and even popped him on the nose….no cooperation. He was stuck. He finally started scratching the bulls face and nose like we always did. Later he said he bet he scratched that damn bull for 45 minutes before he finally decided to let my father in law go. It was funny but also scary, but the bull was happy.

    • Haha! Now, that’s a funny story. I can just imagine the bull wanting to be scratched and not having the slightest notion that he had the man cornered in a frightening way. Your father-in-law knew that the bull would not intentionally hurt him, but he could have accidentally injured him. I remember reading about a man in Sweet Home or somewhere near us getting himself killed by a bull a few years back. Ours are fairly mild-mannered, but any cow will panic if he gets into a tight spot. Thanks for reading my story, Sue. You’re always a cheerleader for me. That’s encouraging! :-)

  24. George, I was completely enthralled by this post. I almost felt as though I heard a voice-over (I wish so much I knew what your real voice sounded like), as I was reading and looking at the beautiful images, as though I were watching a documentary, splendidly executed and tenderly told by an expert storyteller. You are so gifted! My heart is so deeply touched by the stories you’ve woven together here, and aches for the very sad loss of Tom. I am so taken by the photographs; I have such a soft spot for cattle.

    • Congratulations, George on being Freshly Pressed! I’m so, so happy that other people are going to have the chance to discover your superb storytelling and photography. This isn’t the first time or the first place you’ll be published, I’m certain of it! Keep your stories coming!

      • Thank you, Lemony Girl. You encourage me more than you can imagine. We’ve had fun here, haven’t we? With any luck at all, we’ll sail right through a second year together, my dear child! :-)

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the story, Lemony. I can tell you that I sound precisely like every stereotypical Southern sheriff you ever heard. I foolishly agreed to do a radio ad for a guy who was running for state representative once. I almost never lived it down. Everybody in town knew instantly who I was from the accent. I thought they’d never stop running that ad!

      You are my #1 supporter … from the very beginning. It makes me happy that you like my stories. Yes, Tom’s tragic accident shocked us. We were sad to lose him especially in such an awful way. Cattle often get themselves trapped in bad situations. I enjoy watching cattle too. Dean loved it. I’m happy that he was able to enjoy the longhorns during his last years. Are you kidding? You have a soft spot even for spiders! :-) Such a tender soul, Lemony.

  25. You write so beautifully, George – I really like the unhurried way your stories unfold (I’m hooked and have finally discovered how to get your posts direct to my inbox). Love the last two photographs – they have an even greater emotional pull when you know the story behind them.

    • Richard, I replied to your comment yesterday. Apparently, I failed to hit “Post”. Oh, Dear. This getting senile really isn’t very helpful. :-)
      Thank you for the kind appraisal. I appreciate it. I just talk. I always talk. As if you didn’t know that already. As Jerry Weintraub famously said, “When I stop talking, you’ll know I’m dead.” I write these stories for my grandson, Charlie. That’s why I started the blog last January. I want him to hear my “voice” in the stories after I am gone. When we are dead, there are about as many opinions of us as there are people who knew us. We should speak for ourselves while we have a voice. Thank you for troubling yourself to find a way to follow along. Actually, there is an email form at the bottom of the page here. :-) Keep stalking.

  26. You’re a wonderful storyteller, George. I love the mental image of Jerry drinking your husband’s sweet tea! My grandma grew up with cows (milking cows) and she always spoke of them fondly and with many nice stories. When I was really young, there was a pasture across the street from where she lived. It had barb-wired fencing and we would play in the field next to it. A pretty big and contankerous bull was in there with this his ladies – he seemed so scary to us at the time. My cousins and I were playing frisbee and it went over the fence….we chunked my niece over to retrieve it and the bull got after her! She got scared and she got tangled in the barb-wire trying to climb back over – I got one the worst whoopings for that stunt!

    • Hi, WH! I laughed and laughed about the Frisbee incident. Sounds exactly like something my big sister would have talked me into doing. I was always getting the whippings for stuff she put me up to. Then, of course, she denied it. At least, I had fun … if I did get my backside blistered. It’s something of a miracle that we all survived, I guess. We learned how to manage in the world. Something I think lots of kids don’t learn early enough. You are such fun … then and now, you know. I used to buy gifts from Colonel Littleton for Dean (knives and leather stuff). They send fancy catalogues filled with “gentlemen” accessories. In one, there was a poster-like page that was suitable for framing. I framed it and gave it to a lawyer who was working on a case for me at the time. He was also a breeder of fancy cattle. Printed on it was: “You don’t have to outrun the bull. You just have to outrun your buddy”. I guess that’s some famous adage amongst cattle people. :-) Good advice, though. I could run fast… Thanks, WH. :-)

  27. Pingback: Critters | Living Simply By Going Backwards

    • Hi, Zeebra Girl! Good to see that singular Gravatar that I like so much. :-) I forget to visit. I need to sign up for email notifications. I enjoy your blog a lot. Thanks for the visit. I’m glad you liked the little story.

  28. I’ve always loved the expression, ‘what a load of bull%4#@’ when one has doubts about something’s authenticity, but you’ve told quite a compelling story of Dean’s love for these animals with your photos and words despite there being a lot of bulldust involved……hope that makes sense in an LOL sort of way. I loved how you captured their mesmerising stares, those horns are impressive. Must be invigorating to be able to get so close to such an imposing looking animal.

    • Thanks, Jackscrap. I’m glad you enjoyed the bull. The longhorns are mostly a docile lot. As it is with horses, you get desensitized to their size. They can hurt you with their horns without intending harm. Even Fat Butt was not aggressive towards people, but he was hell on that Interloper next door. We had to sell him because there’s no keeping a bull in a pasture when he decides to get out. And, he was about to kill the bull next door. Good to see you. I have to visit Vulture Den soon.

  29. Beautifully captured, as to both the photos and the story! You have a true gift for storytelling, George! I can just imagine Dean interacting with his “little Longhorn herd”. The iced tea comment cracked me up! One question – “Sweet”, or “no thanks I’m sweet enough” tea? ;)

    • Okay, Anonymous. Mama said not to talk to strangers. Thanks, anyway. Glad you liked the story and the pictures. I’m sure Jerry never had unsweetened tea. He was a lucky boy! :-)

    • BTW, I thought I knew that clever Anonymous. The IP told me I was talking to UTAUSTIN2. I was only slightly disappointed not to have been talking to UTAUSTIN1. ;-)

    • Thanks, RoSy. I do have good memories of Dean and his longhorns. I’m happy that he was able to enjoy them during the last years. Are you still snowed in? Where are you anyway? I thought in Texas… No?

    • Thanks, Craves. I just ran over to your place to find out who craves adventure! I like it very much there. Wonderful photographs, great essays, lots of information and incredible variety. It’s a great blog! I’ll be tagging along with you. Have a great weekend! :-)

    • Thank you, Carissa. Dean loved his longhorns regardless of how fine or -not-so-fine they were. He enjoyed them so much during the last years of his life. I’m happy that he had them.

  30. You have documented their life well with photos and words. They are beautiful animals. Dean would be proud of his Longhorn legacy and I know you cherish the memories.

    • Thank you, Jo Nell. Dean really did treasure these critters. They were all gorgeous to him since he thought they each had a distinct personality. It was great they he was able to start his herd and to enjoy them before he died. :-)

  31. I loved the longhorn story. As you said, Dean would certainly be pleased that Jerry is still there. I could never tell one of them from the other but you apparently do know most of them. I love how they look.

    • Yep, Jerry and Prissy Missy are two of the first four. They’ll be selling off the young bulls before they mature since a couple of them are Prissy’s offspring. That will end any future breeding unless the Interloper waltzes over from next door. :-)

    • Hi, Kiwi! I’m glad you liked the little story. I just took your fascinating tour of the airport. I wonder how many big farm animals survived the early flights in cargo holds that were not climate-controlled. I didn’t realize that horses were ever flown from one place to another. Learned something new there! Thanks. :-)

    • Hey, Wanderlust, I just visited you when I found you here. I was delighted to read your compelling description of the storm. I felt in a perilous position myself! You write so very well. I’m happy that you liked the longhorn story. Now, I am starving for ricotta! :-)

  32. So beautiful photographs and so nice story of them. How I loved to be here and to read you dear George. Thank you, have a nice weekend, love, nia

    • Thanks for coming to visit, Nia. Good to see you. I’m glad you liked the story of the longhorns. I hope you are well and safe. The world is in something of a chaotic mess right now. Have a wonderful weekend! :-)

  33. Very, very nice. Beautiful animals – healthy, happy, and obviously full of themselves! We used to raise American Milking Devon cattle and I miss them very much. Especially the bulls – why is that? They could be such pains in the rear – but they were my favorites nonetheless. Thanks for the really nice images and thoughts. D

    • You are absolutely right about the bulls. I don’t really know why we admire them so much. Probably because they are the heads of the herds, and they are usually bigger, more muscular and generally more appealing to us. They also seem to have more personality than the heifers. Prissy Missy was a delicate girl who was always sweet and mild-mannered. We felt protective of her, I think. I don’t know the Devon cattle at all. I have to look it up. We don’t have a really good example of the old longhorn breed since we lost Fat Butt. The kids aren’t interested in developing one so they just feed and care for them because they were Dean’s babies. They’ll have to sell off the young bulls before they mature since some of them are Prissy’s offspring. That will end the breeding of future generations of them. We’ve enjoyed them. Glad you liked the story. :-)

  34. Thank you so much, George, for finding a story I could relate to… and it is very beautiful. I spent some of my finest hours contemplating cows and bull, and I lover them both. They are the quintessential representatives of all mammals, of which we are a humorous example. And I suppose that in loving you we can have a little hint of who Dean was. I can imagine just the smells he loved…

    • You gave me the chuckles again! You are absolutely right on the mark in your analogy. Only our arrogance prohibits our seeing it. You’d have liked Deano. He was not an intellectual. He was keenly attuned to human behavior and completely non-judgmental. He was funny too. Something of a boyish scoundrel and completely likeable. He loved Jack as much as you do. I can imagine the two of you having a drink, a smoke, and generally having a great conversation. The kind of guy you’d want to sit beside at the bar, for sure. Thanks, Shimon. My plan was to do a post on the tires that I photographed at the same visit to the longhorns, but you deftly changed that plan. ;-)

    • Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed the story and the photos. I’m hoping for the best for little peachick. Thanks for visiting and taking time to comment.

  35. :) – coincidently, as I returned from a short photographic outing on Wednesday (a regular event in support of a local community arts project), I drove passed a field with a lone Highland bull (presuming, no expert!) but it was laying down with it’s back to me, so I didn’t stop. Seeing your short essay, maybe I should have done. ( I like your idea of using the bale picture to break up the sequence.)

    • Yes, cattle are interesting subjects to photograph. The bull would have gotten up if you had spoken to him, I’d bet. The bales seemed a good idea. Otherwise, I’d have had a long sting of cow photos. ;-) Thanks for stopping by. Good to see you.

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