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Ryan Dennis

Ryan Dennis is the son of a New York dairy farmer and a literary writer whose early essays were originally published in Progressive Dairyman.

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ByIt was a busy road to Headford, and like all Irish country roads, it didn’t have a shoulder. I was going to the Saturday mart – the weekly livestock auction – the only way available to me: by bicycle, with my work shoes strapped on back.

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The beef calf is like the troublemaker in class. The look in their eyes is not one of intelligence but defiance. They’ll cut in the lunch line if they want to. The other kids shake their heads – but also kind of respect them.

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One yacht owner flew in a tiger so his guests could take selfies with it. Another got bored and ordered a group of dwarfs to waterski around his boat for a laugh.

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Dragging our moldboard plow through the fields in the spring always tended to turn up more than just the soil. Sometimes there would be a cow’s lost neck chain that got scraped into the spreader or parts of a deer carcass turkey buzzards might have pulled off the road.

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The fact we had to play on soccer and rugby pitches was emblematic of how softball was trying to carve out its own modest space in the world of European sports. There would be no diamonds, no bleachers and no hot dogs being sold.

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We’re lying on the couch, watching Netflix. My girlfriend rests her hand on my belly. I shift on my side so her hand slides off. She puts her hand back on my stomach. I browse through the movies, reading the descriptions below the titles. She rubs my belly and sighs.

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