The kids were unloading the dishwasher for me, and I quickly confiscated steak knives from the two girls, reminding them that knives are sharp.
“Those knives aren’t sharp,” Asher piped up. “They’re not even sharp enough to cut a calf.”
That might be a strange comment coming from a 6-year-old in the average kitchen, but in our kitchen it wasn’t cause for much concern. I meant to pursue his statement further, then got distracted in the daily task of survival around here and proceeded to completely forget what he’d said.
Then I overheard Asher’s grandma regaling a story at a birthday party. It went like this:
Asher has been rising early to ride along in the “branding truck” with Grandpa and Grandpa’s right-hand-man, Bill. The branding truck carries the branding irons and other supplies to the branding pen; the cowboys, including Asher’s dad, leave about two hours earlier and have been making big circles horseback, so Asher hasn’t had the chance to ride yet. So he satisfies himself by hitching a ride to the brandings by a means other than horseback. He gets himself up, gets himself dressed, and gets himself out the door.
On the first day, Grandpa was driving down the county road when Asher whipped a steak knife, which he had apparently swiped from my kitchen without me knowing it, out of his pocket and flashed it around for all to admire. He then re-pocketed it.
Then, at the branding, he headed resolutely to the first bull calf that was dragged in and proceeded about the business of castrating it — with a steak knife.
So this is how he knows that a steak knife is not sharp enough to cut a calf.
Beau caught him at his work and sent him scurrying back to the bed of the pickup, from where he can, ideally, safely watch the goings-on. As he watched, though, Asher continued miming such realistic actions with his steak knife that Grandpa finally confiscated it and hid it somewhere I’ve never found it.
Just a couple days ago, I was complaining to Beau that I couldn’t locate a utility knife I keep in the kitchen for opening packages of meat.
Yesterday, when I showed up at the branding on Willow Creek with the kids and lunch, Beau came over to greet us and quickly patted Asher down — and there was my utility knife in Asher’s pocket.
He’s not growing up as fast he’d like — but it’s going so fast his mama can’t keep up 🙂
© Tami Blake