Mac is Misbehaving
For those of you who have always wanted to raise livestock in the foothills of Colorado this story is for you. I should like to start by giving you the same advice I have given my kids thousands of times. "Everyone is going to make mistakes. Sometimes you can avoid making mistakes yourself just by watching others." I have other great advice that I have given the kids, most of which they have deposited in the dumpster, but that's a whole nother story.
Twenty years ago, Elaine and I achieved our dream by moving to the hills with our herd of llamas and a couple alpacas. To set the record straight, yes, llamas spit, but they have to really hate you or hate what your doing to them. Yes, alpacas are cute, but if you are not shaving them and processing their hair, or living in South America and eating them they are basically worthless. There I said it. Send your hateful emails to Elaine, I don't have time.
Back in the day, (Did I ever tell you, I hate when people say, "Back in the day"? Kids say, "back in the day", people my age say, "in the old days or a few years ago.")
I'm starting over. A few years ago, I suggested to Elaine, we should expand our herd. If you know anything about Elaine, she is always ready to buy another llama. But I wasn't talking about llamas, I was talking about yaks. I was looking for some purpose in my life. Having a batch of kids, coaching Little League baseball, traveling around the country building crap that will be torn down in fifty years or less and being married to Elaine, just wasn't enough. I suggested to Elaine, "Let's be yak ranchers!"
I had done my research. Yaks were the perfect animal fo us. Yaks produce hair to be made into yarn. (Yes, this is a yarn store story.) Yaks produce meat. (I do like meat. Who doesn't? Oh, sorry.) Yaks can be milked to make butter, cheese and even milk. Heck, and they can be trained to pull carts when the battery of your electric car is dead.
Ok, now read carefully, we are getting to the mistake part. I purchaced two bottle-fed yak steers. Bottle-fed ? Yaks being fed by humans using a bottle. Steers? Turning male yaks into transmale yaks. Can I say that?
We named the black yak, Mac and spotted yak, Cheese. Mac and Cheese. As time went on, the yaks developed personalities. Mac was very docile, we will call Cheese rambunctious. Emphasis on "ram".
The yaks grew. I would guess Cheese was about eight-hundred pounds when he not so playfully rammed Elaine into the corral fence. Oh Elaine was OK, she had to walk around with a brace on her leg, (can I say her?) but I got Cheese to say he was sorry.
Cheese just couldn't keep it together. One day he decide to chase Boy Twin. If it hadn't been for an open door on the livestock trailer that Boy Twin darted in, Cheese might have got to him. Cheese had to go to the land of "white paper." The butcher cut him up, I sold his hide and his skull hangs on a wall in our home.
Mac was watching the mistakes Cheese was making and didn't want any part of that. I didn't even know he was listening to me.
By now I had purchaced another yak, Another bottle-fed, but this one was a bull. We named him Franks. We never did get a partner for him. There never was a Beans.
At the time, I didn't have any interest in having another transmale yak. (Its 2023, and I know I can say that.) When you keep a male yak they have the potential to get big. That's why male yaks always beat female yaks in the Olympics. (Again, sorry.)
Franks got big. And mean. Franks should have been named Diablo. That's what you name mean livestock. Franks liked to walk through fences. He didn't like to use the gates, he perferred walking through the fence. At eighteen-hundred pounds he pretty much could go anywhere he wanted.
Like Cheese, Franks went to the land of "white paper". Mac was watching and not about to make the same mistake
Mac has been living in peace at the ranch for a few years now.
This past week driving home from town we noticed our motion-operated lghts were on, all of them. I said to Elaine, "Something is up at home, every light is on." Driving down the driveway towards our house I noticed Mac standing in the yard staring at our headlights. He had been having a great time. He had torn up a haystack, used a pine tree to scratch himself, pooped all over the yard, and then stood there as if to say, "Hey, what's up?"
I calmly put Mac in the fenced pasture. I know somewhere in that pasture is a hole in the fence. Sadly, I don't want to look for it. I'm retired. I should be golfing or fishing. I know, I don't golf or fish. But Mac knows better.
The very next morning Mac was scratching on the pine tree. I opened the gate to put him back in the pasture. He looked at me and then the gate, as if to say, "I kind of like it out here, buddy." I took a stick and whacked him on the nose. He walked through the gate.
I hope Mac hasn't forgotten the mistakes made by his yak buddies. And I hope you have learned by my mistakes on buying yak in the first place.
Buy (yak) yarn. Love ya. God bless!
Our crazy lives!