The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Wisdom Of Barnyard Bruke: "New Orleans and dreams and a rock'n bull"

Greetings to everyone in western Illinois.

This week has three special days; Presidents Day (February 20), Mardi Gras Day (February 21) and February 22 which is Ash Wednesday, as well as George Washingtons birthday. February sure has a lot of special days.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans is full of wild celebrations. I don't have much enterest in go'n down there for that revelry, however I did travel there once with Mrs. Bruke, it just wasn't Mardi Gras.

We had a special meeting in Bourbon Street to meet some friends. They had a bull ride'n contest on a mechanical bull. Wouldn't ya know it, I let em talk me into climb'n on that bugger to see which ones of us could stay on the longest.

Whilst this happened years ago, I'm a still hope'n me back might straight'n up half way normal some day. When that feller operate'n the mechanical bull wants ya off - its gonna happen! Luckily the land'n was somewhat padded but the back injury came from all that jump'n the bull did in gett'n me off.

I will proudly say my time on the bull was longer than my friends I was compete'n with. That be'n said, their back injuries did not seem nearly as severe as mine seemed.

The Mrs. and I walked to the place where the bull was located, unawares of what we was a walk'n into. It seems several of the store fronts had a special on and was a model'n high heeled shoes. Mighty fancy and sparkl'n they was and the women folk used an enterest'n gimmick to make sure ya only noticed the shoes. They left ever thing else off.

It seems Mrs. Bruke was not to enterested in shoe shop'n that day fer she hustled me hide right on down the street. Fact of the matter is, I was told by me ma years ago, as a young'n, that sort of thing could blind a feller, if'n ya weren't careful.

Well folks, I was careful and in order to negotiate me steps properly so as not to stumble and fall I only risked one eye. The other eye I held tightly closed. Wouldn't ya know it, two months later I had to have a cataract removed from that eye, once again. I'm a guess'n them shoes was just too bright and sparkl'n.

Anyways, Mrs. Bruke seen to it we took us a cab go'n back from the bull ride to the motel.

That was awfully sweet of her take'n into consideration me muscles might be sore from the bull ride'n.

It was alright, I suppose, fer I reckon she felt we saw enough shoes on the way to "Ride'n the Bull". Anyways, no use view'n what you cain't have.

I read recently of a feller advocate'n buy'n more burgers from McDonald's Corp. because they are work'n with its pork suppliers to phase out gestation crates that severely confine pregnant sows.

That feller also bragged up Wal-Mart because it has announced its store brand milk would no longer contain bovine growth hormone. Also, it was insinuated organic, free-range eggs are a better food.

This fellers process of think'n caused me to dwell into some deep thoughts. I'm a wonder'n if'n "Mr. Short Britches" with "his hat on backwards" can be coaxed out of his air conditioned cab long enough to raise livestock the "old fashioned" way with "A"-frames hog sheds and Doane pull-togethers out in the field. On land sell'n for $8,000-$12,000 per acre and/or cash rented for $450 to $500 per acre.

May be also he will "free-range" chickens on that high priced land. And, of course he's gonna have to find some way to lock ever thing up at night, chickens and baby pigs alike, to save them from harms way of the coyotes and chicken hawks.

I even see Bald Eagles around these parts this winter and I'm told they like a diet of young pork and chickens, as well.

And of course "Mr. Short Britches with his hat on backwards" is a gonna have to spend some time build'n fence and provide'n for pollution control. It's a gonna take a powerful large number of hogs and chickens out in the field to provide for both McDonald's and Wal-Mart.

Of course, they will both have to raise their prices along the way.

But then agin maybe Wal-Mart and possibly McDonald's will just order their pork, eggs, and poultry from China and cut the American farmer out altogether.

That would free up that young whipper snappers "Mr. Short Britches with his hat on backwards" to the point he would have plenty of time to go get food stamps, see'n as how the local livestock market for his grain would not be as much in demand.

He could go back to work'n for noth'n like his grandpa did or pay'n for the privilege of farm'n like his pa did dure'n the 80's.

If'n ya thinks it through carefully ya can see there is some fault in that liberal tree hug'n city slicker's plan. He seems to want to sit high up on the mountain top in his castle and watch the serfs (farmers) work'n in their loin cloths down below.

Actually, McDonald's and Wal-Mart is play'n a dirty trick of politics try'n to convince ever one they is "Greener" than anybody else.

As fer Mrs. Bruke and I, we ain't a gonna fall for that slick talk'n "Madison Avenue" game. We're buy'n our groceries and food supplies from someone or some company that is not only "farmer friendly," but "rural supportive" and sensitive to our needs.

You do as ya likes, but as fer me and my family, we ain't' fall'n for those smooth talk'n gimmicks!

Have a good week a come'n up and see ya in church this Ash Wednesday and again on Sunday. Try and help out a neighbor along the way.

Oh, and by the way, another good WWII veteran was lost last week. Gilmer Vestal, up north and east around Roseville, will be sorely missed. The ranks of them WWII heroes is a thin'n out fast, it seems.

Condolences are given to the Vestal family from the boys and I, and The Quill.

Remember to work on your taxes if'n ya is a farmer. March 1 is a roll'n around quicker'n ya thinks.

And maybe you should take your wife out to "The Pink" or "Dew's Diner" for two of the best eat'n places and hospitality you'll find around these parts.

Check their menu out and see fer yourself what fixin's they have to offer in their ad in "The Quill."

Keep on Smile'n

Catch ya later

Barnyard Bruke