07 August 2014

Livestock Rustling (Sort of), Back in the Day

threecollie's post here reminded me of something that happened when I was in high school.

Yes, they had high schools back then. The last dinosaurs were gone, and it was safe to emerge from our caves. Get offa my lawn!

Er ... back to the story. We lived in farm country, and the FFA program* was a huge part of the local school system.

One of the local farm boys had a prize-winning sow that he was planning on entering for a second time in the local livestock contest. A couple of his classmates decided that, what the heck, it would be fun to make the sow go missing.

All in fun, you understand. They'd bring her back after a suitable interval of time ... really, they would.

So under cover of darkness, they did the deed.

In due time, the farm boy in question arose in the wee hours to feed the cattle, slop the hogs, et cetera, and discovered the empty pen. He promptly called the sheriff and reported the theft.

The other boys, with very large (and pregnant) sow in the bed of their pickup, were pulled over by a deputy in short order ... and taken to jail.

You see, Missouri still had a rustling statute on the books. They may still have, but I don't live there anymore, and don't care to try and find it now. It established "rustling" as a misdemeanor, unless it takes place after sunset. Then, it's a felony.

So the sheriff considered the circumstances, and called the high school principal - at 3:00 o'clock in the blessed a.m. - and agreed to release the boys into his custody, IF the principal would come get 'em: a 24-mile drive to the county jail.

Mr. Principal was NOT happy. Neither were their parents. And it was the talk of the town for the next couple of weeks, what with them boys bein' felons, and all. :)

And I can't help but wonder how many state and federal agents, from how many Alphabet Agencies, would descend upon those teenage boys if it happened today ... but I'll betcha they wouldn't be released to the school principal.

* Future Farmers of America


PioneerPreppy said...

Damn I don't know but we were still burrowing cattle when I was in HS. They looked so funny wandering the halls of the school.

Rev. Paul said...

Somehow ... I'm not surprised. :)

Old NFO said...

LOL, good one and no, today it'd be a SWAT team hitting them...

Rev. Paul said...

I concur, NFO; SWAT at the very least.

joated said...

I don't know. Isn't Army still trying to get Navy's goat? And Navy trying to get Army's a... donkey?

Rev. Paul said...

Perhaps, joated, but I'm not sure that qualifies as rustling. On the hand, given how humorless the law enforcement community tends to be ... :)

Anonymous said...

If I remember, AZ has similar law.
And once had a vibrant FFA and 4H community.
Not as much, today.
And WAY more law and regulation!


Rev. Paul said...

Sounds about right, Guffaw. And (unfortunately) normal for this era. Dang it.

threecollie said...

Oh, my, it boggles my mind to think how they managed the mechanics of stealing a large hog. Not like they are cooperative. lol. thanks for the link and the great story!

Rev. Paul said...

threecollie, a lot of us wondered about that, back then. But you know how stubborn teenagers are ...