When I was a kid, my future occupation, I thought, was to be either a veterinarian or a farmer – something involving animals. By the time I was of college age, in 1970, others things got in the way and I dropped out of school, so that was the end of being a vet. Farming, though, was still a possibility. Actually, it ended up very small-scale – more like homesteading. For years we “homesteaded” up on New York’s East Mountain – http://www.mohicanpress.com/mo11002.html – follow link, if interested – but that practice was continued after moving down to NC. Before moving to Marion, we lived in a farm house in Green Hill, about halfway between Rutherfordton & Lake Lure. Though I had raised chickens and pigs and rabbits and flowers & veggies & goats & fruit trees & berry bushes -even had a Shetland pony – I had never had a cow. So, we bought one from a dairy farmer, a Guernsey. The cow’s name was Jumpy, because as the farmer was frank enough to inform us, she had a penchant for leaping fences. She also had horns. Not the perfect cow, but she had a calf, which was included in the deal. So, we purchased them. Unfortunately, the calf died soon after we bought her, so we were stuck with Jumpy, who proceeded to jump over fences as advertised. Well, one day, she jumped the fence and disappeared. A friend called a few hours later, to tell us that she was spotted grazing on the Lake Lure golf course. Someone had told me that the best way to catch a cow was to lay a noose on the ground, place feed in the center, and then let the cow catch itself, basically. Off I went, noose and bucket of feed in hand, to catch me a cow … my cow. By the time I got there, she had wandered off to the side of the road. She was easily spooked – another good reason to have named her Jumpy – so I proceeded with caution. She was up on a slight rise that paralleled the road; down near the road, was a drainage ditch running alongside the road, just at the bottom of the rise. Trying not to move suddenly, I laid the noose on the ground, shook the pail a bit so she knew what I had, and placed it carefully in the center of the noose. Jumpy strolled over, stuck her snout in the bucket, and was chomping away. I slipped the noose up over her horns and around her neck – it had worked like a charm. I had me a cow!! For a few seconds, anyway. See, the person who told me how to do this had failed to mention – or, I had failed to hear – that it was imperative to tie the other end of the rope around a tree or fence or SOMETHING. I just had it in my hands. As soon as I tightened the noose, Jumpy bolted down to the road. I tell you, I was in the air, off my feet and parallel to the ground. I held on for dear life. Then, SMASH! My shoulder slammed into the ditch, the rope slithered through my hands, and Jumpy was off to the races. OUCH!

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