ON THE EDGE OF COMMON SENSE
I never claimed to be a cowman and I’ve got the scars to prove it! Frostbit fingers, baler twine blisters, and an odd scrape in the side of my head where the hair won’t grow back from when my good ol’ horse slipped down on an ice slick on the calving lot. I went out off the front quarter, hung my left spur on the canvas medicine bag that was looped over the horn with parachute chord and lost a chunk of my year when he drug me, unconscious, over the rusty metal feeder by the gate. It, my ear, now looks like a chew toy!
I never claimed to be a horse shoer and I’ve got the scars to prove it! A permanent stoop, calluses and a slice across the inside of my thigh. I’d driven a #5 city head into the second hole in the size #1 shoe and through the hoof wall on a skittish sorrel gelding when, just before I twisted the protruding nail, a disoriented fruit bat soared down out of the rafters and tangled in the horse’s forelock! He went bumfangled and jerked his foot out of my grip between my knees! The wound has crudely healed, my girlfriend made a pair of cut-offs from my jeans, and we made a pair of coasters out of the scraps left from my shoeing chaps!
I’ve never claimed to be a dairyman and I’ve got the scars to prove it. Narcolepsy, deafness, a Dutch accent and one thumb missing from the time I was inspecting the automatic grain feeder belt, thinking some of the buckets were loose. My coverall sleeve hung up in the teeth and began dragging me across the milking stanchions, pulling me through electrical wire, hydraulic hoses, pressure lines, heavy steel pipe and pieces of angle iron all to a chorus of bawling, Holstein cursing, and a mass exodus of the milking parlor! My sleeve finally tore off, taking my thumb as we were drug through the hole in the cinder block wall of the grain room. I spent half a day in the hospital and when they questioned the hired milker on duty, he’d said he’d been listening to Led Zeppelin on his IPod and hadn’t heard a thing!
I’ve never claimed to be a small animal veterinarian and I’ve got the scars to prove it! Not a decent tie to my name, at least 50 mongrel dogs named after me, and twenty parallel scars up and down my left arm that occurred when I was trying to pluck a grass awn from the ear of an unbroken barn cat. I had gotten him into a big rubber boot to help restrain him but the sole of the boot was rotten. It tore off and the cat fell through into a small half-full molasses tub! I desperately clung to the cat’s scruff to keep him out of the molasses as he mauled my arm like I was picking blackberries in a bob wire patch! The awn fell out by itself, I no longer make house calls, and the scratch wounds actually obliterated the tattoo of my ex-fiancée’s name who eventually married the dentist.