Friday, January 11, 2013

dry cattle

what it is: dry cattle
where i found it: harry crews

I've posted about Harry Crews before, one of my favorite authors, back around the time that he died. You can read that (short) post here for a little overview of who the man is. Something recently inspired me to pick up one of his books again and I came across the below passage, describing his father, which has had me laughing for days. The entire book is available here on google reader, but that sure is a poor way to read much of anything. If you like this passage, Crews' A Childhood: the Biography of a Place is full of them.

There is no doubt that in that time he was, as they say in Bacon County, fond of lying out with dry cattle. Maidens, or at least those young ladies who had never had a child, were called dry cattle after the fact that a cow does not give milk until after giving birth to a calf. An unflattering way to refer to a woman, God knows, but then those were unflattering times.

He was also bad to go to the bottle, as so many men have been in the family.  He drank his whiskey and lay out with dry cattle and stayed in the woods at night running foxes and talking and laughing with his friends and was vain enough to have it recorded as often as he could with somebody’s camera.