Denis Lehane: A farmer marches on his breakfast

The recommended breakfast of champion farmers.

Today I spent the most of my time squeezing bulls balls left, right and centre.

If there was a bulge at all, the squeezers was put on it quicker than you could say Jack Robinson.

And I did them all too, bar one hairy lad who spotted the danger that lay ahead, or should that be behind, and escaped through a handy hole in the crush.

All the shouting and roaring in the world was to no avail, as the devil outran me up the field before skedaddling for the safety and seclusion of the wood, like Grizzly Adams himself .

Undeterred by the mishap, I turned my back on the devil and carried on, next focusing my attention on the calves.

I promptly dehorned everything in sight. So, by the evening, between one thing and another, there were very few animals untouched by events of the day.

And of course the big question to come from all this is, how in the name of heaven do I face into such big tasks like squeezing balls and removing horns, and still have the energy to write a tender and moving article, piece, such as you are now reading.

“Are you on some class of medication?” concerned readers have often asked.

Well, the answer to the question of my boundless energy and zest for life comes, not from the bottle of pills but from what can be found on the breakfast table each morning. It is from my breakfast that my strength comes.

“What marvels do you consume?”, you may ask.

‘Tis nothing more really than sausages, rashers, black pudding, a pair of fried eggs, a fried tomato, a few slabs of soda bread, the odd slice of toast, and a feed of mushrooms too if they are handy, all washed down with a pot of tea. That’s my secret.

I’d have a fry every morning if my missus allowed it, because I’m firmly convinced that it’s the rocket fuel of life.

After polishing off my plate in the morning, there is no job too mighty. Dehorning calves is a trifling matter, with the boundless energy that a fry can give you.

‘Tis the Himalayas you’d be itching for.

I have no time whatsoever for that cereal garbage. Those boxes of expensive bird seed should be outlawed, as far as I’m concerned.

Many years ago, I read someplace that those flakes or crispies or whatever they are called were originally designed as a means of getting nutrition into sanitarium patients.

More to the point, there was also a little known secret back then that eating a slash of cereal would work wonders on ‘curbing the old libido.’

Well I’m telling you, from the moment I read about the ‘curbing of the libido’ business, I ran from my cereal like my hairy bull ran from the squeezers this morning.

Never again, I vowed, would a spoonful of that distasteful stuff see the inside of my mouth. I have enough bullocks running around the farm without being a class of one myself.

To be frank for a moment, it can be hard enough at my time of life to keep the ship afloat, without torpedoes of that nature being fired at you.

Stay away from the bird seed, is my message to all farmers reading today, and let the only curbing of the libido be done unto the cattle.


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