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Outdoor Life: Barnyard animals can pose some problems
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After much reflection and research on past adventures I have come to an undeniable scientific conclusion. 
    I don’t play well with barnyard animals — or perhaps they just don’t like me.
    It doesn’t matter if its cows, horses, chickens, pigs or sheep, they seem to react in a negative manner to my very presence. Heck, I wasn’t even any good at pin-the-tail-on-the donkey back in the day.
    I don’t know why this phenomenon exists in my domain. I’ve never mistreated animals — unless you count that wild cow I shot after chasing it over hill and dale for an entire day — and she was just asking for it. Other than that I’ve always regarded domesticated animals with a kind of live-and-let-live attitude.
    My problem cropped up again just this week. I decided to go fishing a few days ago and wound up at a local dairyman’s pond. It’s always a great spot to catch a few bass in January.
    Now, I should mention that I’d had previous problems at this particular location with the resident bull who regarded me as an intruder amongst his females.  Big Ed was not anywhere to be seen on this day so I figured the coast was clear and I could enjoy the day.
    As far as fishing went, things were going according to plan. I caught 14 nice bass and a bluegill bream that was as big as a pie plate.
    All was right with the world until I glanced back where my truck was parked and noticed that there was a congregation of Holstein cows surrounding it. At first, I just shook it off even though I knew down deep inside that my chronic problem with barnyard animals was about to rear its ugly head.
    Eventually I had to face the music, so with fear in my heart I headed back to the truck. The assemblage of cows was still hanging around and they were looking at me as if to say, “What?”
    As I eased closer the truth began to dawn on me. The stupid things had thoroughly slimed the exterior of my truck with bovine saliva. They had paid particular attention to the windows and mirrors to which they had applied a thick coating of the nasty stuff.
    I screamed at them to “get on outta here!” without much effect and continued my inspection of the truck. Here is a final tally of the damage. 
    Besides the sliming I had bent mirrors, a dislodged bumper, cow hair mixed in with the slime and to add insult to injury, a generous spattering of manure on the tires.
    That wasn’t all.
    The fools had taken a bag of trash I’d left in the back and pulled it out, torn it asunder and scattered it around the pasture. They also got a hold of a bale of wheat straw that was left back there, pulled one of the strings off, and had helped themselves to some of it.
    I’m glad I didn’t leave the windows down. They would have probably been chewing some of my tobacco.
    I know ya’ll don’t believe me but I’m not making this stuff up.
    I finally got in the truck to head home and decided a trip to the local car detailing service would be necessary. I pulled up and the dude came out, took one look at my disgusting truck and just put his hands on his hips.  “I ain’t never seen anything like this,” he said.  “What is that stuff?” 
    I responded that it was cow saliva with a goodly mixture of manure and hair to boot. He called out a young fellow whom I can only suppose was either his top car detailer or his biggest flunky to clean the truck.
    When I got my itemized bill I noticed he had charged me double the usual amount and the bill simply said, “For overall cleaning, decontamination services, and removal of excessive filth.”
    There wasn’t a lot I could say.
    Of course car detailers don’t do the beds of pickup trucks so I headed home with a semi-clean, still somewhat smelly truck. I took little notice at the trash and wheat straw that was trailing out the back as I was going down the road.
    I don’t really know what to do about my jinx with domesticated animals. 
    Maybe I just need to move to a town where the closest things they have to barnyard animals are pond ducks. 
    Heck, knowing me, I’d probably try to shoot one and wind up in jail.

    Alvin Richardson is a contributing writer, retired educator, and public speaker. Contact him at