Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Who's got the beef?


We all appreciate the good provider who brings home the bacon ... but how often does that same man come home with 600 pounds of premium beef?

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It was a typical, crisp October night in 1971. Our little upstate NY town had already rolled up the sidewalks and, in our house at least, we were all tucked in for the night. We had no forewarning that the evening’s calm was about to end.

The barking of our dogs awoke us, but it was the sound that we heard next that was really alarming. It sounded exactly like the rushing waters of a turbulent stream or waterfall. We couldn’t imagine what was happening until our eyes adjusted to the night and we realized that a large herd of cattle was running past our door.

“Oh, no,” yelled my husband. “They’re loose and heading for the Parkway.” and before I knew what he was doing he’d pulled on his boots, grabbed a jacket and was out the door.

Our house was situated very near to the Taconic Parkway and I realized what he meant. If these black animals streamed onto the highway the result could be disastrous. A driver would have a hard time seeing them until it was too late...both for him and the cattle.

Dick jumped on his horse, Thunder, and the two of them took off down the road. By the time the children and I made it to the parkway he had most of the animals corralled in the median but one of them had, indeed, been hit. It was at this point that the owner arrived. He, too, had been asleep but was awaked by a call from a neighbor telling him that his cattle were loose. Needless to say he was very appreciative of Dick.

I took the children home to bed and the owner, Dick and some other good Samaritans worked together and finally got the cattle back where they belonged. It was about 3 AM when Dick came home but he was looking mighty pleased with himself. Evidently the owner had offered to pay him but Dick had declined. The farmer, however, would not take no for an answer and finally persuaded him to accept the animal that had been killed on the highway.

So, there you have it! My hero had indeed brought home the bacon...except in this case it turned out to be 600 lbs of prime beef. We paid $100 to have it cut, packaged and stored and we ate like kings for a long, long time.

I’ll let you do the math...but that was a pretty lucrative night’s “work”.

9 Comments:

Blogger Syd said...

That's scary when animals get onto highways. I'm sorry that the cow died but at least you got to eat well.

1:22 PM  
Blogger KGMom said...

What a great story. Beef on the hoof beats Spam, any day!
I shudder at the vision of a herd of cattle on the Taconic Parkway. I have driven that road, though it is in sadder state these days perhaps than in 1971.
Oh, the adventures you have had!

2:06 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

I can't believe it. How on earth did you find someone to keep it cool and store it until you could get it dressed?

5:13 PM  
Blogger possum said...

Have been catching up... Haven't told you lately how much I enjoy your posts.

8:42 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Such a good husband, and what a great story.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I have chased after cattle many times. I do not live near an expressway and "range law" prevails.
i.e. if you don't want my cattle in your garden, fence your garden. Cattle can roam Except bulls of course. There usually is no need for panic.

I spend four hours this morning retrieving my two sows from my neighbours place, 1/2 a mile away. Pigs are not as easy to herd as cattle. You have to be smarter than pigs to get them to do what you want.

I am exhausted from this mornings effort.

2:26 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Another great anecdote!! Wish I had something witty to say but I'm empty.

7:57 PM  
Blogger Cazzie!!! said...

Yet another wonderful story, and this all happened just before I was born, December 11th 1971 :)

11:41 PM  
Blogger Cazzie!!! said...

Oh, and those cattle, they used to get on the road all the time where I grew up too. We even had to stop our school bus so many times because of escape-ee cattle, lol. We loved it.

11:41 PM  

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