William Weinrich column head

The story I am going to write about took place several years ago and I promised a friend I would write this story for him. I hope you like this story, Jack Williams, and whoever remembers this episode.

A few years ago when calves and hogs were cheap enough, a person could actually make a few dollars selling and trading livestock. During the holidays and when school was out for the summer, Jack Williams and I would go to the livestock sales at Hillsboro. Producers were on Mondays and Union was on Thursdays. Note: One of those is now gone.

Sometimes if a fellow was lucky enough, he could buy calves or whatever was cheap. A few weeks before we went to Hillsboro, I bought three Jenny (female) donkeys dirt cheap.

They were outstanding creatures and I was very proud of them. So one Thursday morning, the telephone rang and it was Jack Williams on the other end. He said, “Let’s go to the sale,” and I said, “Alright,” so in a few minutes off we went to the sale at Hillsboro.

When we got to the sales’ lot to see what was going to be sold, I heard a donkey holler. I asked one of the employees who were there what the donkey was — a Jack or a Jenny? He replied, “It is a Jenny.” I took the fellow’s word and never looked in the pen. I told Jack Williams if that Jenny goes cheap enough, she was going home with us.

Soon it was almost sale time, so each of us got a buyer’s card and went in and sat down. The fellow sitting next to us said, “I saw you looking at that donkey.” He told us that his neighbor hauled the Jenny to the sale, but couldn’t catch the Jack.

Then the sale started (auction) and the first thing brought into the ring was that donkey. All the auctioneer said is, “Here is a donkey.” So I was lucky enough to buy the critter. She was the prettiest donkey I had ever seen and I was plumb tickled-to-death. I went into the office to pay for the donkey and asked Jack if he had a rope in his truck? He says, “No, I forgot to put the rope in, which I usually do.” I told him that I needed something to make a halter out of, then I got an idea, I took my belt off and handed it to Jack. He said, “How are you going to keep your pants up?” I replied, “Very carefully.”

So off goes Jack to load the donkey, smoking his pipe, shaking his head and trying not to laugh because several people saw me hand my belt to Jack; so here I am standing in line to pay for my donkey and trying to hold my pants up.

When I finally got the donkey paid for and got out of the truck, Jack said, “Here is a piece of bailing twine I borrowed from a fellow. This will hold your pants up until we get you home.”

When we got home (where I hang my hat — an old saying), I yelled to my wife and said, “Dear, I brought you another Jenny to go with the other three we have.”

My wife came up to the truck and looked in the back and said, “Bill Weinrich, don’t you know the difference between a Jenny and a Jack?”

I said to my wife, “I’m not stupid, I can tell the difference, it is a Jenny.”

My wife said, “You’d better look again,” which I did. Holy hen house, it was a Jack. Either I needed glasses or couldn’t tell the difference between a Jack and a Jenny donkey, either that or the donkey changed sexes on the way home. I will never live that one down!

This is dedicated to Jack Williams.

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