Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Florida Lawyer's Eland Herd


Why, honey, how good it is to see you. Come right in and git you a chair. I was just watching this program about all those wild animals they have over there in Africa and it put me in mind of a story Bernice’s boy told. Law, the things some of you new people get up to. . .

You see that big critter they're showing on the TV? That's what they call an eland and that's what that Florida lawyer Bernice's boy used to work for decided he wanted to raise. He'd tried buffalo for a spell but they were all kinds of trouble, Bernice's boy said -- wasn't hardly a fence could hold em. So this Florida lawyer took a notion to raise these elands -- ordered a buck and four does, if that's what they're called -- five of em, all the way from some ranch in Texas.  

I don't know how many thousands of dollars he give for them five critters and he had to pay for someone to deliver them too. But Bernice's boy said this lawyer had studied up on it and he believed that eland meat was going to be a money maker -- said it was low in all the bad things and high in the good things and that once he got his herd going, why he could sell elands for breeding and make a pretty penny.

 

So Bernice's boy was there the day the cattle trailer pulled into the lawyer's place  early one morning, come all the way from Texas.  They had them a pen ready with a six foot high fence and hay and water waiting and they backed that trailer up to it. Bernice's boy said he could see through the slats of the trailer that the critters was taller than an ordinary cow and they had these  great long horns like nothing he'd ever seen before and they was trampling around in there and tossing those horns back and forth like one thing.

The lawyer climbed up on the side of the trailer and got a good long look at what he'd bought. Finally he says, "Well, boys, I guess we best let them out. They might as well get used to their new home." And he climbs down and stands back as the driver and his helper undo the back gate of the cattle trailer.

Bernice's boy said them things just come boiling out of that trailer. They stood there a moment, looking around like they was getting their bearings, circled the pen, and then one by one they cleared that six foot fence and took off running in five different directions.

It took some time but Bernice's boy tracked one of them critters through the fields and down the road a piece to where there was an old house with several trailers up the hill from it. He said that an old lady lived in the house and two of her grown sons lived in the trailers. He got the rest of the story from one of the sons who said that his momma had called him that morning, just hollering, not hardly making any sense at all. 


"Lord God, son, the Devil just run through my yard. Get down here right now and bring your gun! He's a big un."

The son had stepped back from the carcass he was skinning and shook his head. "You ever see anything like this? Reckon some of them elk the government released a few years back are breeding with cattle? Everwhat it is, it'll fill my freezer and Momma's too. Lot of good eating there." 

Bernice's boy said it was the hardest things he'd ever had to do on his job, to go back and tell that lawyer that he'd found the buck eland.

This is based on what was said to be a true story but I got it third or fourth hand and have changed some of the particulars. The eland pictures are from the internet and I couldn’t find the names of the photographers.

 





9 comments:

Miss_Yves said...


Spectacle des Commémorations du débarquement en Normandie:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOQAdHyafx8

KarenB said...

Oh, I enjoyed that! Thank you!

Frances said...

Hmmm, Vicki, it sounds like that Florida lawyer should have done more homework. Or taken a field trip to Texas.

You told the story so well. xo

Brian Miller said...

ha. sounds like a waste of bucks....smiles...tried buffalo as well...what an interesting fella....

B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain said...

Chuckles out loud over on my side of a glorious day today. I am glad I didn't see one of those elands wandering around when driving out in your neck of the woods!

NCmountainwoman said...

Reckon that lawyer didn't study up on them as much as he should of.

Friko said...

I love it. It made my evening sing.

Juliet Batten said...

Oh what a crazy story! The elands look magnificent in the photos. You capture the voice really well.

Wayfarin' Stranger said...

The reaction of the old lady and her son echoes Jesse Stuart's 'Foretaste of Glory' or Jerry Clower's sky-writing story. It's a classic theme and you did it so well! Good job!