Calling His Cattle Home with a Trombone (Video)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014 - 1:41 pm

Calling His Cattle Home with a Trombone (Video)

A few weeks ago, several readers encouraged me to use the hashtag #unexpectedjoy in my tweets. Which got me to thinking… how do these unanticipated moments of pleasure lead to deeper meaning. One answer, I think, is finding things that connect us and that remind us of the simple pleasures in life.

So when I unexpectedly saw this video of a Kansas farmer, Derek Klingenberg, calling his cattle home by playing the trombone, I felt connected — to my farming heritage and the horizontal line of a North Dakota sunrise. I felt connected to my sons and wife, who absolutely love pop music. Especially Lorde’s hit single, “Royals.” I was overwhelmed with laughter and joy, and I find myself wanting to share it with everyone.

This unassuming video also requires a bit of patience. At first, it appears that he’s a lone cowboy having some fun in an lawn chair in the middle of the prairie. But, stick with it. Music always delivers. Here’s the backdrop, as Mr. Klingenberg posts on his Facebook page:

“Yesterday morning I went out to film myself calling in cattle with my trombone. I’ve been going out there the past week to “cube” the cattle. We feed them a treat so it is easier to gather them when we round them up later this week. For fun I played my trombone to help call the cattle in from long distance.

Yesterday morning was so beautiful. I left very early in the morning. There is something wonderful about playing a trombone in the middle of a prairie to 380 heifers. I am happy to share with the world the beauty of the Kansas Flint Hills.”

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is the cofounder of On Being and currently serves as publisher & editor-in-chief. He received a Peabody Award in 2007 for his work on “The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi” and garnered two Webby Awards (in 2005, and again in 2008). The Online News Association nominated his journalistic work multiple times in the general excellence and outstanding specialty journalism categories. Trent’s reported and produced stories from Turkey to rural Alabama, from Israel and the West Bank to Cambridge, England.

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