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The history of the Longhorns from beginning to end
on January 11, 2005
As horses were introduced to America by the Spanish, so too were cattle, and both species became feral, then wild, and learned to survive on their own under extreme conditions in the west. Not infrequently some retained some of their domestication. Texas was the land of their beginning as catalysts to a lifestyle peculiarly western because of how they developed. The Longhorns were tough individuals as well as part of a breed apart, and Dobie was just the sort of person to describe them for what they were, and the men who made it their purpose to use them. Dobie is a story teller of exceptional talent as well as an historian of necessity if his stories are to carry any weight. Each Chapter deals with an aspect of the beast and its habitat from which they were removed to form enormous herds driven north by cowboys over tractless miles to railheads when they arrived or to distant markets before their coming. Cowboys were tough, but also gentle as they crooned softly to the cattle on a stormy night hopefully to prevent "stompedes." Dobies' tales of individual Longhorns illustrates that within the being of some was a spirit that exceeded normal expectation, and contributed to human emotions in spite of themselves. The Longhorns began to fade as bloodlines were mixed to improve the breed, and as railheads came closer to the herds. For "improved" cattle had not the prowess or the ability to survive without the help of man as did the pure Longhorns. They were a breed in transition from one life style to another, but their memory remains because of Dobie and his tales. Fascinating reading.