Monday, October 08, 2012

AMY KIRK: My rancher’s first love

In all of the 19 years of knowing my rancher-husband, the only times I’ve ever seen him get misty-eyed was when his hay fever got to him. There are few things that cause my husband to get emotional — unless of course we’re talking about money, ranch work, or maybe even hand signals -- but that’s an emotion of a different kind for many future columns. Showing his emotions is just not something my rancher’s walnut-tough exterior will allow him to do. Only females like Samantha have the power to stir up a rancher’s emotions. I witnessed once just how much buying his first cow meant to him. It was during a time when he had to endure a court ordeal that pertained to defending the morals of his cowboy way regarding our land and cattle owner rights. When a lawyer asked my husband how long he’d been a rancher, a hairline crack in his stoic facial expression revealed how he truly felt about his cows. He began his response with a long pause at the recollection of Samantha before he said as simply and as quickly as possible with a hint of emotion in his voice; “I bought my first cow when I was thirteen.” Ranchers don’t wear their emotions on their sleeves or anywhere else that I’m aware of but when it comes to a man’s livestock, a rancher is protective of the strong ties he has to them. The memories that are created from putting a man’s whole heart and life into his livestock everyday are not forgotten. Rare circumstances can cause the most calloused, persevering, hardship-hardened men to reveal a poignant, albeit brief moment of emotion regarding what his cows mean to him. Something you’re not likely see with the same level of emotion expressed on the faces of animal rights activists...more

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