The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.


Greetings to everyone in western Illinois. Most of the silage has been put up, the last cutting of hay fairly well complete, beans are turning color rapidly in the early planted fields, and several farmers have reported their corn moisture levels in the mid 20s (21%-28%).

Fishing is good, squirrel hunting productive, teel season is open, the weather is pleasant, and all seems at peace in Hancock and Henderson counties. Life is grand!

I had a friend, of a relative of Cornelius, from the "Big City" passed thru our area for a visit this past week. They asked for a "good" drink of bottled water. I promptly marched to the kitchen, grabbed a "Kerr" fruit jar, filled it with our "best" well water from the kitchen sink, and passed it on to the house guest with an empty glass to pour the refreshing liquid into.

The guest replied no I want "spring water" the kind you buy in the store. Your well water probably has atrazine in it and atrazine shrinks frog testicles.

Well, I sez, that's easy enough. Wait here and "jaw" a spell with Mrs. Bruke whilst I go out and get you some water to meet your hygiene needs. We are accommodating folks in this part of the woods.

I grabs some baling twine, looped out by the garage wall where the old wash tub has been hangin' for years. Tyin' the twine around the handle of an old pail, the Mrs. uses for watering her flowers, I lowered it down into our spring fed cistern, swirled it around a bit to freshen up the water and drew up a hefty bucket full of freshly retrieved spring fed water ready for bottling.

The water was then poured into a "Kerr" fruit jar and presented to the city slicker for her refreshment. But "no," she says, "I want water from a running stream, not some old pool stagnant water with possible nitrates in it. And I want it in a store bought bottle!"

Ok, I sez, whatever trips your trigger-we aims to please. I traversed down to our local crick with one of those fancy store bought bottles a neighbor had left when he was last here visiting. I holds it up to a good healthy runnin' drainage tile and fills er up. Bringing it back to our house guest I offers it up to her for a healthy swig.

But first she asked where it came from, to which I informed her. But no, this might have other farm pollutants in it. That was not what she wanted. She sez, "I want what some of those bottles which advertise water from a running brook, spring fed straight from the mountains." By now I'm beginnin' to think this guest is mighty particular, but then who am I to question her peculiarities. Off I goes, tryin' my best to please her.

I stops at the LaMoine River, just a bit west of La Harpe and north of LaCrosse. Dipping down at waters edge I was easily able to fill milk jugs of water, the kind of milk jugs you buy in a store. This water is fresh from the foothills of Hancock County. Enough water to last her entire visit. I scraped all of the tadpoles, crawdads, and frogs out of the water so as not to have any of the live critters in the jug. I gave it to her with the explanation that it was spring fed, straight from the foothills (as close as you're gonna get to a mountain around these parts) of Hancock County.

It was captured near the mouth of the LaMoine River, with no industry nearby to pollute it. Fresh, bubbling, gurgling and special delivery-it's all yours. Life supporting and as far as I could determine all of the frogs living off it had their testicles. Live'n proof it was pure.

She partook of the water and remarked how refreshin' it was. She politely asked if she could take some home with her and I willingly granted her request. She never asked where the ice in the glass came from, however.

For supper we had "Rocky Mountain" oysters from some calves we had recently turned to steers. The "Big City" gal was tickled pink by the meal and finally asked was it rabbit or squirrel or what. She had never tasted anything quite that delicious with such unique taste.

Well, I sez, it's mostly Mrs. Bruke's cook'n. She can make the "back end" of a bull taste good. In this case she used the meat from "Angus", you know the kind of animal those most fancy elegant restaurants, in the big city, use for the best plates. The "Big City" visitor then gives a very big nod in agreement with her head and declares, "This is the best Angus steak I've ever eat'n and the texture is sooo....unique.

Well, I sez I give most of the credit to the Mrs. for her ability to tenderize and I take a small amount of credit for my skills with a knife in carving out just the right pieces!

After the meal our city friend went on her way, extolling the virtues of a most extraordinary meal with enjoyable, fresh from the stream, drinking water for refreshment, and how lucky we were in our healthy country live'n.

I was sorry she was not able to stay for supper where Mrs. Bruke was plannin on fresh scrambled calf brains and tongue as the main course. Mrs. City Slicker would have loved it because it was "Angus" also!

There is a reason for me share'n all of this with you and it relates to the radicalism and extremism of Al Gore and the likes, in their environmental movement. More particular as it relates to cap and trade.

I think you will find it revealing, so watch for it if'n you are interested in these sort of things. In the meantime, stop by for a visit sometime as I got some "crow" I'd like to share with you.

Oh, and by the way, it was a good thing Mrs. City Slicker never visited my feedlot. In all probability she would have blamed my well water for the steers lack of manhood or should I say "Bullhood".

Keep on Smile'n

Catch you later
Barnyard Bruke