John Brooks loves animals, especially farm animals, especially cattle, especially bulls. We are lucky in that while still unpredictable, the bulls (and the cows and calves for that matter) at the farm are calm enough that John Brooks is able to interact with them. It is so sweet to see him sitting in the back of Ben’s truck talking to the cattle, telling them stories and even singing songs.
“Bill” is a black Angus bull that has been at the farm for a few years. Long enough that to John Brooks he has always been there. Unfortunately, something has happened to Bill’s foot which has made it impossible for his to perform his…um…job. To make matters worse for Bill, when the veterinarian was out to look at his foot he executed what can only be described as an acrobatic maneuver in which he somehow ended up on his hind legs with his front legs and head stuck in the top of the squeeze chute. I’m not kidding. I wish there were pictures. Somehow, Bill made it out of that scrape alive but on a cattle ranch, if you can’t earn your keep, it’s time for you to move on down the line and that time for Bill was this past Monday.
I started to worry that John Brooks might have some lasting effects if we didn’t at least let him say goodbye to Bill (I think I’ve watched that scene from “The Help” one to many times where “Skeeter” doesn’t get to say goodbye to the sweet lady who helped raise her) so on Sunday, we took a ride out to the pasture, fed Bill and gave John Brooks a chance to see him one last time.
It about broke my heart to watch my boy with his “Buddy Bill”. At one point, he told me, “Mama, I’ve talked to Bill and he said he wants to stay.” I bet he did say that…poor Bill. We did our best to explain that because of his injury it was better for Bill if we sold him but that’s a hard thing to explain to a person with little reasoning ability.
Even later Sunday night during story time and the next morning before school John Brooks was asking us to ask Granddaddy to let Bill stay. Ben and I are both pretty tender-hearted when it comes to the boys so it was tough to see John Brooks struggling to understand this loss. So, in an attempt to make it easier on him (I hope) I convinced my oh so manly but oh so sweet husband to drive out to the farm after he dropped off John Brooks at school and conduct a photo shoot…with Bill…the bull. Because my husband loves me and our boy he agreed and sent me the pictures that I proceeded to edit and upload to my Shutterfly account where they are awaiting my click of the Send so that they can be mailed here, framed and placed on John Brooks’ bedside table.
Yes you read that correctly.
Yes we are crazy.
In my defense, people have photos to remember their dogs. Our kid’s dog just happens to weigh 2000 pounds.