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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Whitey.

WHITEY.
by Tim Enloe

It was the spring of 1980 when Whitey introduced himself to me. Before that, he was simply a lawn ornament of quiet but large proportions. I remember how excited I was when we moved to our home on Bethany two years prior. All this land and look - real cows right behind my house!

Each day, Whitey and his herd grazed innocently on the large farm that bordered us. Morning turned into day; day turned into evening; evening turned into night; all ready to start the process over the next day. An innocent existence for a bovine community…or so I thought.

Saturday typically meant three things around the Enloe home; watching hours of cartoons, then complaining about doing the few chores my parents would ask before my younger brother Patrick and I would disappear to enjoy the freedom of innocent youth .Two friends had come over for a visit this particular day. Our travels ended up putting us at a tree house my father had built a year prior. This fortress was constructed around one large oak tree and four other trees about seven feet up. Located on the back corner of our property, one could easily see into the 37 acre farm that bordered us.

As we flicked acorns at one another and talked about what to do next, we happened to notice a congregation of cows at the juncture where the farm, our property and a neighbors met. There was not much action at all. On the four acre parcel to our left was one cow and a young new bull that was visiting with hopes of bringing a new calf to the property that following spring. On the farm, cows and calves alike just stood there; all crowding tightly in the hopes of getting a fleeting glimpse at their new neighbor. It was as if they were all talking telepathically with no noise to be heard. After about ten minutes, a calm snort came from one side, then a calm snort came from the other. This calm was about to be broken.

A massive white bull that took claim to the herd had witnessed the interactive snorts from afar. The cows and calves quickly made way, as if Moses himself was parting them. Whitey had arrived. Whitey saw the cow and snorted. Whitey saw the new bull and snorted. Then, as if the many numerous layers of barbed wire were simply fishing line, Whitey walked through the fence. Now let me be completely clear here. He did not run into the fence. He did not walk back to gain momentum. No. Whitey simply WALKED THROUGH THE FENCE. I remember hearing the rusted wire pop repeatedly; snapping back as if it were alive. Before you could blink an eye, Whitey was on the four acres and was ready to stake his claim. The young bull took off running towards the front of the property but that would do him no good. Whitey was on him in seconds - ramming him time and time again. The bull screamed in agony but such pleas matter not to Whitey. For many minutes, Whitey chased that poor bull around that four acres attacking him with mighty force. If he wasn’t slamming the young stud into a parked horse trailer or barn, he was using the fence that separated our property from the four acres as an asset.

Meanwhile, my father was busy working on the new pool checking the chemicals and such. When he heard the ruckus, he grabbed the first and best tool for such an event - the long pool skimmer. Yep; my Dad ran over to our neighbors property with a twelve foot metal pool skimmer in his hands in an attempt to break up a fight between two bulls. Whitey must have been terrified. The neighbor of the four acres had just come out and both men tried their best to ward Whitey off his defeated foe. A phone call had gone out to the farmer prior and made his way over. By that time, the defeated young bull and triumphant Whitey had separated for the moment. Whitey continued to pace in the front of the four acre lot as if a shark was waiting to make his final attack. He was in his pure essence of being; his “Chi” if you will.

Now, during this time, my brother and I along with our friends had the best seats in the house for a fight as we stood in our adjacent pasture. However, my father and the neighbor had all of us go back to the house when Whitey’s owner arrived. I am not sure exactly what happened next but I do remember my father sharing some information with me later that day. The farmer had driven over in his truck with horse trailer in tow. One of the gates to the neighbor’s property was opened and the rig was backed in. The farmer looked at Whitey and calmly said “Whitey-get in the trailer.” Whitey refused. The farmer then walked up to Whitey with a 2×4 and said again “Whitey-get in the trailer.” Again, Whitey was difficult. Then, the farmer smacked that 1000 pound plus bull with his 2×4 and said for the final time “Whitey-get in the trailer.” Whitey got in the trailer.

After that, the fence was fixed and the young bull removed. Whitey continued his time at that farm for a few more years and then was gone as is the lot for many farm animals. I sometimes think I still see him over there; the calm before the storm; the inner rage held at bay; the Pride refusing the Fall. To this day, I look back at that moment and realized I wasn’t just seeing two bulls fight. I was seeing something much more. I was seeing the very essence that we all strive to be. I was seeing the epitome of courage, strength, love, and protection. Whitey was doing what Whitey was supposed to do. He was protecting everything he knew to be true to him. He was protecting his home and barbed wire was just a formality.



4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tim. I enjoyed your story!

I think we all have a little Whitey in us.
Kim Swiacki

Anonymous said...

Did Whitney have any offspring? Maybe you can find a Whitney Jr.!

M.C.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful story about a time long gone as well as the beautiful era.

Rough Patch Twisted Fate The Movie said...

Heartwarming story. I didn't know what to expect with the title "Whitey" but an enjoyable read. Antoinette