Rancher's goodies for a new year

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Diane Prather

The day after Christmas, the gift-wrapping has been thrown out, but evidence that gifts have been opened remains.

Gifts have been left on the coffee table, beside the sofa, or under the Christmas tree, for example, and next to a rancher’s recliner there’s apt to be a little pile of gifts that he took from his Christmas stocking — all waiting to be put away.

The stocking stuffers in this pile, invaluable items for the coming year, could include the following:

• A new writing pen to replace the one that got broken while prying on some part in the shop or to replace the one lost in the sloppy corral during calving or lambing season.

• Disposable hypodermic syringes (with the caps on, of course).

• A small can of bag balm that can be carried in the pocket when checking the calving pasture.

• A keychain flashlight.

• Electrical tape.

• Small containers of nails and screws.

• A can of WD-40.

• Safety pins to pin up a torn jacket.

• A scarf to put around one’s neck on those cold, snowy days.

• Assorted candy bars.

• Beef jerky sticks.

• Wool socks.

• Twine-cutting knife to replace the one lost in the snow or slop on the feedlot when feeding the cattle or sheep.

• John Deere ornament for the Christmas tree.

• Lip balm.

• A bottle of aspirin.

• A little book that fits in the pocket in which to write machinery parts and numbers.

• A small flashlight.

• Flashlight batteries.

• A little tally book.

• Mosquito repellent.

• Little packages of tissues.

• Gift certificate for winter boots or coveralls.

• A book to carry in the pickup truck that holds the numbers of the feed store, veterinarian, implement dealer, mechanic, brand inspector, and others.

• A bottle of LA 200.

• Iron-on patches for the coverall knees or patches and glue.

• A can of tobacco.

• A little book to carry in the pocket to keep track of calf or lamb tag numbers.

• Chlorox wipes to keep in the pickup truck or with the calving/lambing supplies.

• Gloves.

• Tickets for the National Western Stock Show.

• Marinade mix for barbecuing steaks.

• Duct tape (to put in a big sock).

• Sticky notes (for leaving messages).

• Cell phone to replace the one lost in the brush when chasing cows.

• A magazine for the pickup truck, to be used for reading while waiting for the veterinarian to arrive.

• Rubber bands.

• A box of Band-Aids.

• A wallet to replace the one lost in the sagebrush while chasing that old bull.

• A ticket to Hawaii.

Copyright Diane Prather, 2010.

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