I have been a farm-wife for twenty-eight years and in the high pressure sport of livestock relocation I feel like I’m now qualified to play with the professionals. I can block a bull, I can screen a sheep, and I can double team a determined calf. I am my husband’s best female rookie, so when Joe was at work the other day and a call came in from a fellow interested in recruiting one of our rams, I volunteered to go down to the other farm and break it to the young buck that he was being traded.
The ram was hanging out with his friends behind the farmhouse. With a little help from an assistant, I brought all of the sheep into a huddle. Game on! I started shouting encouragement and making hand motions to transmit my intentions, but my star ram was more interested in his wooly female fan club than my frantic coaching. Finally, we agreed on a fast break, and with a little pressure from the sidelines, the flock trotted down to the loading pens. Then, I separated the buck out for the trade and asked the wooly cheerleaders to leave. They departed, demonstrating a few high kicks on the way out.
The buck showed his displeasure in losing his cheerleaders by intentionally fouling my assistant. I moved him onto the sidelines, confining him in a narrow chute until he got his temper under control. The cheerleaders, who were now three fences away, kept calling for him to be put baaaaa-ck in the game. LeBron the Buck looked through the fences separating him from the girls and, with a six foot vertical leap from a standing position that would make any coach proud, he cleared it. I shouted something that should have resulted in a technical foul as the buck took two running steps and cleared the second one. One fence remained. Before I could react, LeBron soared over the last fence without touching the rim, and trotted out to the cheerleaders who welcomed him with a victory song…”Na, na, na, na. Na, na, na, na. Hay, hay, hay! Welcome Baaack.”
The gentleman who was attempting to recruit LeBron promised to come back another day. I nodded, but secretly thought that he might want to make a different trade. No coach wants a player he can’t control. But, the man did return and this time the pros, Joe and Justin, managed to pull off a win, controlling Le Bron the Buck until he was safely loaded.
The next night, we got a phone call. As soon as he was unloaded, LeBron demonstrated his vertical jump again, clearing a fence and loping to the goal: his new flock of wooly cheerleaders. We understand that they were delighted to welcome him and since that’s what the big bucks are for, everyone is happy with the trade.