For our next riveting installment of Heartwarming Nature Crap, I present the heartwarming Texas longhorn heifer (or calf — what am I, some kinda cattle sexpert?) who lives across the creek from El Rancho Deluxe with a herd of much, much bigger longhorns. This longhorn herd greatly interests my dogs, to the extent that they — the dogs — will squeeze under barbed wire fences to encroach on their — the cattle’s — personal space to sniff their — the cattle’s — apparently irresistible cow-pies. Although longhorns are comparatively docile for organisms that weigh 2000 pounds and have sharp 6-foot prongs jutting out of their heads, an unpleasant outcome may eventually ensue, since my dumb dogs don’t know from adult cattle with giant horns who may or may not perceive them — the dogs — as a threat to their feckless offspring.
A spinster aunt and/or gentleman farmer’s animal husbandry worries never cease.
Texas longhorns are, like those bug-eyed Chihuahua dogs, primarily decorative animals. Some people butcher and eat them, and sometimes rockabilly types affix their — the cattle’s — horns to the grills of their — the rockabilly types’ — vintage Cadillacs, but mostly they — the cattle — just stand around in pastures as props in the personal narratives of dude ranchers, emitting methane. A hundred kilos per year per cow.
Fittingly, the Texas State Legislature has chosen the greenhouse-gas-producing longhorn as the Texas State Large Mammal (the Texas State Small Mammal is the nine-banded armadillo. This is fitting too, since between 5 and 10 percent of nine-banded armadillos have leprosy.)