Haybles, Part 3
Special Guest Column
Written by Guest Haybologist/Haybeestician
Monique Reed, College Station, TX
here in Texas, we have lots of these gentle creatures, but we tend
to call them haybeestes. I have even been able to walk up to them and
pat them while walking in the fields, and sometimes they will let
you sit on their backs, though they will hardly ever carry you anywhere.
They have very sweet breath and their coats are long and rough.
You can always tell the young ones--their circular edges
are still nice and crisp. The matriarchs and patriarchs are slumped
and shaggy. I have, on occasion, seen an infant. These have the cylindircal
shape of their parents but much smaller diameters. They are usually
at the edges of the field, perhaps so they won't be trampled by the
older haybeestes. I've never actually caught two haybeestes engendering
a third, but who knows what's going on on the bottom of a Stack?
Texas haybeestes tend to be a playful lot. They like to make Rows,
as Sarcasta has noticed, but sometimes they line up to run races,
and I think some of the Stacks are more for fun and less for defense.
They can be quite acrobatic! I think some herds must practice close-order
drill, too. It's amazing the precision they have.
Sometimes you can tell that one of the herd has committed
an offense or broken a taboo because it will be off in one corner
of the field by itself while all the others are gathered at a distance.
Oh, well--most herbivores are prone to a little flatulence now and
then, I guess.
the sad destiny of a haybeeste anywhere is eventually to be consumed,
Texas haybeestes, at least, seem to be well taken care of until then.
Sometimes they are given plastic raincoats, and I've seen ranchers
taking whole families out for rides on trucks. (It's really sad to
see one who's fallen off on the side of the road!)
I've often thought about adopting one as a pet--I see
them eagerly pressed up against the fence with the "For Sale"
sign, each one begging, "Pick me! Pick me!", but I don't
think one would fit through the gate in my yard.
-Monique Reed, HBS (Haybologist/Haybeestician)
Farmers often protect their haybles from
the elements, much as prized racehorses are given custom-designed,
wearable coverings in inclement weather:
Reef Industries, Inc., makes custom plastic
covers for haybles.
Calhoun Agri Services
builds "Super Structures" that house and protect entire
These haybles have been given individual plastic
coatings so as not to restrict herd movement.