This morning: As I'm heading out the back door for morning rounds, I hear loud and angry and X-rated shouting, the roar of a 4-wheeler in the far pasture, Ollie's frenetic barking ringing clearly above the din, and see our cows bolting in a tight group toward the back barn. A battered skyblue pickup truck roars up and a grizzled old man leans out.
Turns out he and his son--he of the 4-wheeler--are chasing their mule, which has galloped down Old Hickory from Bull Run Road, was almost caught with a bucket of corn over at Zach's, but then jumped the cattle gap and is now racing wildly around the back pasture, along with the cows, dogs, 4-wheeler, and son.
A police car blocked the front gate, the policeman looking bemused at the dust and noise. "I've been out here since six, trying to keep that mule off the highway", he said wryly, glancing at the halter and rope on the seat next to him. "Now they're roaring around back there tearing up your pasture. Doesn't look like that's gonna work too well. I've gotta say these aren't the smartest two guys on Bull Run."
The mule--a pretty red-blond--did finally get haltered and hauled away, but not before the younger man stopped his 4-wheeler for a few minutes, watching the mule, and said thoughtfully to Tom, "Ya know, maybe he's smarter'n me".
Every cowboy, fisherman, birdwatcher, and preschool teacher knows exactly how he feels.