GrannyGranny loved only one human being in her world—and even that wasn’t apparent at the beginning of our relationship. She appeared one morning trotting down the road, a huge brindle half-brahma cow with floppy ears and big brown eyes that warned the world: “Don’t muck with me, brother.” In spite of her bulk, she jumped across my cattle guard as nimble as a deer and took up residence at my GG Ranch. Not only did she take up residence, she took over. Granny was boss!

At the time I had about twenty head of cattle and eight or so roping horses and foals. Even strong-willed ponies like Wrangler and JJ gave her wide berth when she lumbered over to take a choice grazing spot.

Granny had escaped from a nearby ranch when hands there attempted to load her into a trailer bound for the livestock market. She pawed the earth, bellowed, and chased them out of the corral. Then she bellowed some more, jumped the corral fence, and promptly changed her address.

“If you can gentle her,” my neighbor promised, “we’ll come get her and take her back.”

I was good with animals—horses, cattle, coyotes, squirrels, dove. . . Animals of one species or the other often followed me about the ranch and came when I called. Granny, however, was going to be a challenge.

“Be cautious of her,” I was warned. “She’s dangerous. She’ll hurt you.”

At first Granny and I ignored each other. Then we settled into a truce.

But anyone or anything else that entered her pasture and intruded on her space became fair game. A pair of hunters crossed my fence. I heard Granny bellowing in rage. Suddenly, the hunters were heading for the fence with Granny dusting their behinds.

Stray dogs, coyotes, a wild boar, deer, and even my wife, son, and grandsons received the same treatment.

A year passed. Granny produced a couple of long-eared calves—and still my neighbor was unable to retrieve her. GG Ranch was now her home, and woe to anyone who disputed it.

Gradually, Granny accepted me as her provider. She began eating from a trough with the other cattle while I stood nearby. Soon, she munched grain from a bucket while I held it. After that, she took snacks from my hands and came when I called.

But whenever any other person came even close, she humped up, slung her head from side to side, pawed the ground, and bugled a threat.

One morning, I ambled among my cattle to check calves. I wore sun shades and Granny failed to recognize me. She went into her threat routine.

“Granny, you idiot!” I scolded, and removed my glasses. She looked totally abashed and hung her head in apology.

Granny was independent, irascible, hard-headed, but she had more guts and more dignity than any human being I knew. I guess I loved that old cow as much as she came to love me.

The cultural foundations of the United States and its institutions are devolving along the line of some futuristic apocalyptic novel and producing social, moral, and economic dry rot that can lead only to chaos and ruin.” From a review of Crushing The Collective: The Last Chance to Keep America Free and Self-Governing, by Charles W. Sasser. Released this week and available at most book stores and on-line. If you would like the author to speak to your group, please request through this site or through email at