Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Horns in a Bag

A Tale from the Franch

Back in the day, my sister Rachel went through a little bit of a phase, shall we say. She became a vegetarian and said she didn’t like meat. Aren’t you glad you go over that, Rach? Mmmm, steak! But I digress. Like any good sister and her boyfriend would do, we made it a point to disgust her in any way we could. (At this point, I hope you are realizing that this post is going to contain gross information, which is fast becoming a theme of this blog) One day, we went out to help my friend Meg and her family brand/vaccinate/dehorn/castrate their calves. Yes, you read that right. I said castrate, city folk. I won’t delve too deeply into that subject; just know that it involves little tiny green rubber bands. The whole process is quite an ordeal. The calves are herded into a pen and then one by one, into a squeeze chute. While they are being held in the chute, they can be branded and/or tagged, given their shots, dehorned and have that pesky green rubber band installed all at once. It’s a gory, stinky process. There are horns flying everywhere, blood spraying, and the smell of burning hide. In the midst of all this melee we had the thought that a pair of calf horns would make a nice gift for Rach. Please note that horns are not exactly like fingernails; they have blood vessels and all. But we would not let that deter us. We threw a couple of those puppies in a ziplock bag and threw them in the back of my beloved Linx. It was summer; it was hot; the horns stayed in my car. I did have the thought to throw some salt in with them. If salt can preserve meat, why not horns? So the horns sat and marinated in the salt and the heat for a few months, until we saw Rach. Can I just say she was thrilled?

Stay tuned for the continuation of the how-to-disgust-your-vegetarian-sister saga with The Lonesome Dove passes into the Great Beyond, coming soon!

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