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Posted 6/02/15 (Tue)


I know many of you aren’t ranch people. So I suppose you wonder when you hear that someone is “long in the tooth.” You can age a horse by its teeth. At early years, you can age by which are permanent teeth and which are baby teeth. Once they have all their permanent teeth you can get pretty close by the cups inside their teeth. When they are worn out the horse is around nine and is called a “smooth mouth horse.” Then old horsemen can get pretty close to a horse’s age by how long and the angle of the teeth. Hence, when you are getting “a little long in the tooth,” you are, like me, aging.
Now I suppose you wonder where in the heck is this going? I have no idea.
But if you are a little long in the tooth, you remember the Art Linkletter show, “Kids say the darndest things.”
My present wife, Shirley, was in church with the grandkids a week or so ago. You know how kids love to put your dollar or your contribution packet in the basket as it is passed around. Slate, who is not quite two, took that to a new level.
Shirley is planning a trip with our oldest grandkid, Gracy, who won a trip to D.C. with a school project. So Grandma figured she would need a little walking-around money for cabs, meals, tips and such. So she cashed a check for a crippled calf that the banker didn’t know we had. And she had a few hundred dollar bills in her purse. Which, for your information, I didn’t know she had. Or they would have found their way to happy hour.
Well, Shirley is knelt down in her pew and Slate is standing behind her. He’s a pretty smart kid and knows Grandma’s purse has snacks and stuff in it. So he rummages through and finds these hundred dollar bills in her billfold! The people in the row behind Grandma had their prayers answered when, like manna from Heaven, Slate started passing out C notes! Shirley said it was a little embarrassing when she had to ask for them back. And had to leg wrestle one elderly lady who needed bingo money.
Another young boy I met was at a branding last week. I guess he would be six or seven. And could rope calves by two feet and drag them to the fire with the best of them. His dad is a roper of great renown and is a great dad and teacher.
This cowboy was riding a nice little gray horse that made sure the kid never got in trouble and never spooked if things went awry.
After the branding, while having dinner, one of my neighbors, who is a little long in the tooth, tried buying the horse from this young roper.
“How much do want for that gray horse?”
“Mister, you don’t want my gray horse.”
“Why not?”
The kid looked him in the eye and said, “Because he’s too good a horse for you!”
The Dad looked a little embarrassed and says, “I taught him to rope, but I’m going to have to work on his people skills a little.”