Sometimes A Nice Rain

                                                        Sometimes a Nice Rain 


                                                                Rusty Fleming 


Sometimes a nice rain can sooth one’s body and soul,,,,

Sometimes a nice rain, remembering from living in a dryer environment than some other people that I / we are acquainted with, ALL rains are nice,,,but a welcome shower can also trigger thoughts from the past of drier times,, muchos mas muy dry times,,, old stories of being so dry the milk nannies and milk cows were giving powdered milk. Kid goats and little calves could only nurse their moms if they had a water chaser handy.

Even the most fertile of minds such as Elmer Kelton, back during the drought of the fifties, saying as a journalist and an ag oriented reporter, he had run out of ways to say “It’s dry”.            I can remember cows being so thin,,,,,how thin were they ???,,,,They were sooooo thin and shriveled, previously considered to be of the upper end of the quality scale of steak producing bovines as now being described as only capable of being prime soup bone makers.

One guy told the story that during those overly warm moisture free days-weeks-months he had tired of caking his poor ol’ cows and to refresh his attitude he was going fishing. He remembered a couple of holes on the Pecos that never dried up and so took his fishing gear and some prime chicken livers to try his luck.

He was perched on the bank of the river basking in the relentless sunshine when one took his bait. He set the hook, fought the fish to a standstill and got him out of the water, a 14” channel cat,,, but he had so many ticks on him he thow’d him back, then disgustedly loaded his fishing stuff up and retreated to go pour out more cake. How can a guy doubt a tale like that ???

During the dry of the early 90’s, the 1990’s,,, I had landed a short term job driving a truck. I got a load to haul some pipe to a yard near Charlotte, once there and unloaded I was then told to go load some more pipe between Hebronville and Laredo and deliver to north Texas. Along that drive I did not see anything alive in the pastures except for about 20 head of black, thin (un-necessary to say that word thin here huh) corriente roping steers. I later ran into Gene Walker from Mirando City-Laredo-Aguilares- etc and commented to him how dry they were in SOUTH Texas and about seeing only those corrientes in lots of miles of driving, both sides of the highway belonging to him,,, Gene cut me off and said ,,, “Rusty, those were NOT corriente ropering steers, I’ll have you know, thems my keeper heifers.” 

Some years later, it was adry, droughty time, I had to chauffer some oil company client types from Houston, to show them a seismograph crew working for their company, near Refugio. A few miles south of town, gathered around a water trough, were 10 or 12 head of really drawn, dry-weathered crossbred cows, all with antlers and being multi-colored with ribs and hip bones easily visible from a distance even in dim light. One of the town oriented guys gasped and said WHAT are those kinds of cows ,, they look terrible, horrible !!! 

With the straightest of faces I said those are a south Texas specialty breed, bred primarily for hardiness and lean-ness,,,,,,those are “JERKY Cows”. Yall have had beef jerky, haven’t you? 

They both said as one voice,,, “not anymore.” I didn’t see any reason to disillusion them.


C’mon rain,,,,


r.f. 6-12-24

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