One evening a few months ago, after I fed the mules and the bulls, I went into the house to begin preparing dinner while my wife fed the dogs and lured the chickens and ducks into their pens. I’d just put the spaghetti sauce on low when my wife popped in the door to tell me the bulls had gotten out again. She could hear them walking out towards the pen across the street where we keep the cows and two steers. The time had fallen back the previous day: it was about 5:00 and already dark.

I got in the car and sped up the driveway to try and hold traffic up on the road- always a hopeless enterprise. The motorists on this stretch of highway not only fail to comprehend the high probability of having a deer blow through their windshield and turning them into sausage, they seem to think they can drive in excess of sixty miles an hour while talking on the phone, eating, and throwing fast food trash out the window at the same time. I stepped out into the road to motion a car to slow down with my flashlight, but they didn’t see me. I had to jump out of the road to avoid being hit.

I could hear the bulls coming up through the woodlot, and knew they’d either find a weak spot in our perimeter fence or make one soon enough. I was running toward the sound of them crashing through the brush when I saw Purley make it out onto the road and decide “I’ll just stand here for a minute or two in the middle of the road, in a blind curve, to catch a little breather and reflect on my prospects for the evening. What could go wrong?”.

My wife had come up in the truck and asked if I’d seen them yet.
I said “Yeah. Purley, and he’s going to get nailed.”

About a half-second later a light truck came around the curve, braked, skidded to the left and smacked Purley in the hip, whereupon he rolled up the side panel of the truck, considerably shortening its stopping distance. I figured he was pretty much a goner and I’d have to euthanize him once I found Llewd and got him penned back up.

I ran over to the truck, now missing much of its front end, to make sure there weren’t any unsecured bodies dangling out of the passenger compartment. Seatbelts, after all, can make it difficult to eat a sandwich and swig a Coke while you drive with your knees, so I wouldn’t have been surprised to find a couple of organ donors.
There were no dead at the moment. Purley was standing again, undoubtedly wondering how he could be thinking so much less about pussy than he had mere seconds before.

Two men got out of the truck
“Y’all OK?” I shouted over the motor of the truck, which had that post-wreck wheeze.
“That your cow?” One of them asked
“I’m afraid so.”
“Look at my truck. I’m going to call the law.”
He was pissed off, and rightly so. But I was annoyed. If he’d been doing the speed limit, he’d have had a slightly better chance to avoid the animal. A deer might have rolled up on the hood and killed the both of them- but whatthefuckever.
“You go ahead. I’ve got to find the other bull. This one isn’t going anywhere.”

They must have been a little dazed, and I immediately wished I’d been less abrupt with them. They were going to have to call the law in any case. I didn’t have a phone with me, and someone was going to have to show up with a big flashing light to prevent a pileup. I ran down the road looking for Llewd, who was in the next door neighbor’s field. When I caught up to him he was uninterested in the bucket of feed I’d brought to lure him. From the looks of it he was heading toward the lake, walking along the edge of the timberline. He was weaving in and out of the brambles, and I decided my chances of getting him were nil. I listened helplessly as his bellowing receded in the distance, toward some of the lakefront homes that used to go for a couple of million dollars. These days people are either trying to sell the second home, or dumping the primary residence and getting blackout drunk in the wide arms of the Hyco reservoir. Sometimes they’ll drive a jet ski up onto the rocks on the shore to make life more interesting for first responders. Job creators to the bone, they are.

Now one of these winners was about to encounter 1600 lbs. of hormone fueled muscle, culminating in two sharp points.

“After Llewd makes it through their imported boxwood hedge”, I thought, “he’ll stop for a drink at someone’s dock, and shit on it. I guess I’ll go put Purley in with the girls and go wait by the phone for all hell to break loose ”.

It’s for days like this you hoard the pain killers from your minor surgeries. My wife had surgery on her foot in the nineties, and she needed all of her pain meds. I haven’t gone under the knife since I had the wisdom teeth excavated, in fragments, from my head in the eighties, and I endured the pain so I could save them. I misplaced them during a move, and while I can’t remember exactly, I’m almost certain I must have cried.

Dreaming of an IV valium/demerol drip, or at least some Tylenol 3, I walked back toward the small crowd of people now huddled against the newly arrived patrol car.

The guys who hit Purley told me he’d walked up the fence line where the cows were. He appeared to have a slight limp. The truck, however, had been scissored open on the passenger side and was looking on the black night with one jaundiced eye.

I leaned in the window of the patrol car to talk to the officer. He asked me if I thought I could get that bull put up this evening.

“Well, the one shouldn’t be a problem. He’s headed toward the rest of the cows anyway. It’s the other one that’s going to be trouble.”

“There are two?”

He typed some stuff into the computer mounted on his dash.

“Do you know where the other one is?”

“Headed toward the lake, I think.”

The cop winced. There was a stretch where he just gazed blankly out his windshield for about five minutes while his radio made small bursts of white noise. I tried to find a quiet place in my mind where none of this was happening. The quietest place I could get to was a vague memory of the scene near the end of Blue Velvet where Dennis Hopper is about to get his brains shot out.

“Get that one too.” He said.

In the few seconds I hesitated before I told him I could get the bull, I pictured myself stumbling through greenbriar and bashing my shins against piles of old discarded farm equipment for an hour, only to find Llewd balancing the terrycloth robed corpse of a man in his mid-forties across his horns, a corpse which was, interestingly, still clutching an empty highball glass with morbid vigor.

“I could murder a pint of vodka about now”, I thought.

As the cop drove off, we finished exchanging our insurance information with the accident victims.

While we herded Purley into the gate with the females, we both heard Llewd again, crashing through the woods nearby.

The cows lowed at him “Please share your genetic material with us! That short bull done broke his damn laig.”
‘I’m comin’ honey. Just as soon as I wrap this fence around my ass and drag it across the highway.”

We chased him over a low spot in the fence, and put him across the road with the females. There was little likelihood we could get him all the way back to his own enclosure in the dark, and besides, he’d already compromised it somehow (We learned the next day he’d lifted a pair of tubular steel gates, and crumpled them away from their pintles. It looked like someone had taken a trailer jack to them).

We’d done everything humanly possible to prevent Llewd from impregnating his daughter up until that point, and now we’d failed. This summer, we’ll probably wind up pulling a bulldog calf or some other genetic monstrosity out of her arse with a block and tackle.

Purley will not have healed sufficiently to even think about fucking his mother, fortunately, so there’s that.

Bailey will be milking her warped son Moon (roughly 37 in human years) until the calf rolls out of her like a cabbage from a plastic grocery bag. Then Moon will have to be moved to a separate pasture before he kills the calf so he won’t have to go through the trauma of being weaned all over again, the freak.

All of this is unavoidable now.

One thing, however, is going to change. Two things actually.

Come this May, Llewd’s nuts are going to be withering away. We purchased a kung-fu banding tool that will handle even advanced testicularity.

I’ve been practicing with it per the recommendations on the instruction sheet, with a bunch of socks got up to look like a bull scrotum. I couldn’t even get it to pinch mine.
(Just kidding.)

The trick is executing the operation before Llewd knows what’s happening. Failure could mean death. Mine.
If something goes wrong and I manage to live, there’s always one more approach.