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Thursday, June 28, 2007 

tom mr mac and the bull

True story

My brother married into a family that had a dairy farm.
On the farm they milked about 300 cows daily. They got up around 4:00 am and milked until 10:00am then did it again about 4:00pm till 10:00 pm from 10:00 to 4:00 they fed the cow planted crops did maintenance on tractors etc…. But during calving season they did put in some long days.

There was a man who worked for Mr. McIntosh named Tom. Tom was a drunk. They gave his paycheck directly to his wife rather than to him as he would drink it up and they would not have any groceries. Mr. Mac would give him 10 dollars cash to keep him out of the grocery money and Tom would buy as much cheep wine, as his 10 would buy him. This was back in the 70s and evidently you could by a great deal of wine for 10 dollars.

This is not a story about him drinking it is a story of the night that the bull busted out of the fence.

Well Mr. Mac, rest his soul, was a man with a fiery temper. He would and did shoot people who crossed him. He was known as a hard man to cross, but he knew how to get things done.

They had several Holstein bulls whose job was to impregnate as many Holstein cows as possible. They enjoyed their job immensely, the only other job that a male Holstein is suited for on a dairy farm is hamburger, and given the choice most bulls will chose stud bull over hamburger any day.

They had this one bull named Bull. Bull was about the size of a Sherman tank and almost as smart. One cold November night Bull busted out of the fence and decided it would be a great idea to stand in the road and moo at the cars that passed. One of which ended up being the state trooper that lived down the street. It was 2:00 am. The temp was about 34 degrees. Mr. Macs prescribed mode of fence repair was to fix a pot of hot coffee pour it into a thermos and then drive his truck to Toms house and blow the horn till Tom came out then drive him to the fence and drink hot coffee while Tom herded Bull and then fixed the fence.

Tom was not happy. He was up 2 hours before he normally would have gotten up. He new he was going to have to stand in the freezing rain and fix the fence while Mr. Mac sat in the warm truck and shined his headlights at the hole Bull had created in the fence and drank coffee. So Tom started cussing Mr. Mac.

Mr. Mac told me he did not care what Tom said, he did not blame him for being mad and cussing him, but there was no way he was going to fix that fence in the rain, that is what he paid Tom for.

The longer Tom worked the braver he got and the louder he cussed Mr. Mac. He disputed his lineage, he insinuated that he was the product of unholy unions involving various farm animals, he even stated with certainty that Mr. Mac regularly ate the leavings of the bull that destroyed the fence Bull. Mr. Mac sipped coffee in his truck and listened to the radio.

Then Mr. Mac looked up into the tree that loomed over Tom and saw two eyes glowing in the headlights of his pickup truck. He studied this, as it seemed more interesting that listing to Tom cuss his entire family tree. He soon discovered that it was a lynx. For those of you who do not know, a Lynx is like a wild cat on steroids. They were not uncommon in that area back then. Mr. Mac hated them, they killed the quail that he hunted, and as of 1970 conservation had not been invented in southwest rural Alabama. People dumped stuff in creeks and called it dumping stuff in creeks not polluting the watershed, but I digress.

Mr. Mack could tell that this Lynx was just about to pounce on Tom. Tom for his part had reached its apex. He was shouting at the top of his lungs about how Mr. Mac was responsible for all the ills of society from the nuclear arms race to people dumping stuff in creeks. How that he hated his guts, and for a nickel or a used jaw breaker would whup the ever loving Bull poop out of Mr. Mac, and might do it anyway jaw breaker or no.
Mr. Mac reached behind the seat of his truck and got his browning shotgun opened the door a crack and shot the lynx graveyard dead.

Tom and the lynx hit the ground at exactly the same time. Tom was crying “Please Mr. Mac don’t shoot me. I didn’t mean what I said. You are a good man. I’ll fix this fence don’t shoot me. I’m sorry I am sorry. Tom laughs about this episode now 37 years latter but not much.

Mr. Mac fell out of the truck laughing and accidentally shot the door of his truck. He never got it fixed because it gave him an opportunity to tell this story.

If you could hear Mr. Mac tell this story you would now be rolling in the floor laughing. It is one of the rare times I ever heard Mr. Mac laugh.

Snagley out.