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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Rowdy Tex

  • With the International Finals Youth Rodeo in town, I’ve seen several horses and goats in recent days.
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  • With the International Finals Youth Rodeo in town, I’ve seen several horses and goats in recent days.
    Growing up, I witnessed a handful of friends participate in rodeos. I never joined them; I was holed up in the newspaper lab. My dad, in his youth, attempted team roping on a whim, and did really well, but never pursued it. And that, until this week at least, is the extent of my rodeo history.
    It is not, however, the extent of my livestock experience. At 15, I decided to try my hand at 4-H. I purchased a goat and named him Tex… partially because I’m from Texas, but mostly because that’s the title of my favorite S.E. Hinton novel.
    We made him a fenced area in the backyard. The first day, our basset hound sat next to the fence and had an intense, three-hour stare down with Tex. We were a little worried the dog may go after Tex, so we made sure the fence was secure.
    The following morning, my sister and I were eating breakfast and I opened the kitchen blinds for some light. Standing on the patio table, staring back at me through the wooden slits, was Tex, with a half-eaten grill cover in his mouth.
    Panicked my dad would see the destruction and my dog would attack the goat, I ran outside to conduct damage control. Tex leaped off the table and, in a weird exchange, started chasing my basset hound. Tripping on his own long ears, my dog finally rolled onto his side, surrendering.
    Tex took himself to the fenced area. He was smart. Too smart. And I was nice. Too nice. How was I going to train this cute scoundrel, when all I wanted to do was pet him?
    My rodeo and 4-H friends teased me, and rightfully so. I think people who work with competition animals are born with the gift of doing so. If you’re an IFYR contestant this week, that includes you.
    Eventually, we sold Tex. My parents said it was to a friendly farm. I wonder if it’s the same one they took our cat to.

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