Auction: Seeking Jersey Cows {part 4}

{for part 3}

The auctioneer started with several boxes of small items: four harnesses (we bid and won), three pitchforks (we bed and lost), a metal snow shovel (we bid and won), an artificial insemination kit (we didn’t bid), and more. When the auctioneer moved on to a hay elevator, still attached to the hayloft, he suggested the bidding start at $500. Five minutes later the elevator sold for $85. I don’t know anything about hay elevators beyond the fact that they are loud and move heavy square bales up from the hay wagon and deposit them unceremoniously in a pile in the hot hay loft during haying in the heat of the summer. I have no idea what one should expect to pay for such a piece of equipment. I made a crazy guess that day based solely on the fact that the auctioneer started bidding at $500: the person who bought the elevator got a hell of a deal, even if the elevator did require removal from its current home. The auctioneer moved on to other equipment and suddenly I was interested. What other unbelievable drops in bidding price would occur. Sadly, the rest of the equipment was not nearly so interesting and as a result I was reminded again of how cold I was. I suggested to Josh that we should move to the back of the barn in anticipation of the real excitement: bidding on our new cows! He suggested we’d be warmer if we stayed with the crowd of people. I was not convinced but agreed to stay standing, resisting begging for his hat and stomping my feet to keep warm. While the last tractor was being fired up, the wheels turned, the machine moved back and forth – presumably to show its value and to distract from the puffing black smoke coming from its vertical exhaust which may or may not have been a concern to those interested in such pieces of equipment – I convinced Josh that it really was time to go find a seat. I was certain that the number of people in the crowd far exceeded the number of seats we’d seen on our way in and I was convinced that everyone was there for the same reason we were – cows, and namely, Daisy. I wasn’t certain sitting on a plastic seat, presumably cold, was the wisest move in my quest for warmth but I wanted to find a satisfying auction bidding location before all the machinery-interested people turned their attention to the cows (and mostly Daisy, of course). We made our way around the long side of the barn, pacing ourselves, knowing that the livestock portion was still minutes away and moving was better than standing still. We also didn’t want to seem to anxious. Or anything else contrary to whatever experienced auctioneers would be. Turning the corner at the end of the barn we saw a large cattle trailer parked perpendicular to the barn at the far corner. “Guess they’re being efficient,” Josh commented, “and assume they are going to bring several animals home.” This could only do one thing: increase my nervousness.

{part 5 here}

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