Soon after we got married, Tony and I bought a small house with eight acres Most of it was a luscious pasture. With all that grass, we couldn't let it go to waste. A few animals would take care of it, surely.
One Saturday afternoon we discovered a livestock auction in Emmett, a small town down the highway a bit from where we lived. For a couple of city-folks, our first Livestock Auction was quite the experience, let me tell you. There was a square pen with a dirt floor surrounded by these thick metal cables.
The metal cage seemed a bit much as the first animals came through the gate: a few pigmy goats and sheep. We held onto our bidding cards and hung tough; The smell of those first few were nearly enough to chase us right out of there.
Soon they brought in some calves. They were pretty cute, but we were somewhat confused by the pricing system. People were bidding one to two dollars on these little guys. An old farmer took pity on us and explained that price was per pound.
“Dollar three… I got a dollar thee… and there’s four…. do I see five…” With all the half words in between we could barely make out what the auctioneer was saying. About half way through this zoo they called a Livestock Auction, we decided that next time we’d bring a calculator. We couldn’t figure out how much we were bidding fast enough keep up with the mumbling announcer.
The next animals through the gate were a group of bulls. One got a little nasty, pawing the ground. The shepard with the electric prod dove behind the small metal wall, just in the nick of time. We were glad we sat in the back. I looked at those cables wondering if they were strong enough to keep the bulls in that pen. We stayed the entire day, enjoying the event almost as much as a rodeo.
On the way back to our car, a guy approached us. “Were you the ones bidding on the Jersey Steer?” We had no clue what a Jersey was, but we did bid on quite a few cows. “The tan one with big dark eyes.” He explained.
Turns out John, let’s call him, didn’t get a satisfactory bid for his Jersey steer. He was willing to part with him for a few hundred, though. John was even willing to deliver him to our place, seeing how we didn’t have a trailer.
It was a pretty nice looking steer, as far as we could tell. John even gave us the back story on him. This steer was a Four H steer. More of a pet than anything else. He was so tame, John just led him out of the trailer like a horse.
We waved goodbye as John drove away, looking fondly at our new addition. Tony turned to me, grinning bigger than I’ve ever seen. “We need to get a sign for our driveway – The Hardy Farm.”
“Honey, a farm is where they grow food, we grow cows. I think we should call it ‘The Hardy Ranch’.”