Trevor grinned when he noticed Simone’s eyes growing as big as saucers as she looked over the fence.
“Trevor, they’re huge,” she gasped. “How do they hold their heads up with those giant horns?”
Trevor chuckled. “Longhorn cattle are an old tradition here in Texas. Those horns can be more than eight feet tip-to-tip. Boss told me this breed was brought to the Americas by Spanish conquistadores about the time of the second voyage of Christopher Columbus — around 1512. Longhorns possess a higher heat and drought tolerance than other European cows.” He thought of their great dignity, “For hundreds of years, this livestock lived a semi-feral existence on the rangelands of Texas and Mexico. Longhorn made out well eating off the scrubby range land, based on the number of the herds by the mid-1800s.”
“These guys look contented, but I wouldn’t want to get stuck by the tip of those horns. Ouch!”
“Boss once took me camping where the famous Chisholm Trail crosses the Brazos River. It was the major route out of Texas for livestock. From 1867 to 1884, various ranches drove their herds on the Chisholm Trail to the Kansas rail heads. The route, named after Jesse Chisholm, is a designated historical landmark. Over the years, western movies told of the Chisholm Trail, and many stars got famous for acting in the films.”
Simone paused her gawking stare and faced Trevor. “How come you hardly see these animals anywhere? We’ve been in and around Texas backroads across ranches, and I’ve only seen regular cattle. No Longhorn until today.”
“Texas Longhorns are historical icons these days instead of food like Angus. In 1995, the Texas Legislature designated the Texas Longhorn the state’s large mammal. Boss said some bloodlines sell for $40,000 or more at auction, making them a Texas legacy. He told me sometimes folks need to forgo the profits to save their heritage. He and Annie say people should protect living species to see and enjoy them rather than looking at photos. I’ve even seen pictures of people riding a Longhorn steer on Padre Island as a touristy experience. The University of Texas at Austin picked the Longhorn as the school mascot.”
“Trevor, they are so beautiful and so Texan. I love their different colors making each unique, like people. I didn’t know…