(Where I come from, there's also a lot of cornbread and chicken and front porch sittin'.)
For those of you who are not familiar with mutton-busting (I understand this may be culturally unique to small-town rural America), Zuzu is reenacting it for you here:
Yes, mutton-bustin' is a rodeo event that consists of small children riding sheep.
Much like bulls or saddle broncs, the purpose of the event is to see how long you can hold on.
As you might expect, sheep aren't exactly stoked about being ridden by small children. This isn't your typical Shetland pony plodding in a circle kind of activity. This is a bunch of kids on a bunch of sheep set loose in a regular rodeo arena with a few rodeo clowns running around scooping up the kids when they get bucked off so they don't get trampled by other sheep running around, bucking off other kids.
I'm serious you guys. This is a real thing.
And no, there are no helmets or knee pads or liability waivers. Such things are for weenies. This is the real deal. You just do it because you're a little kid, but you're tough. Equal opportunity for boys or girls.
In fact, Zuzu's Uncle Bubs (my brother) was Champion Mutton Buster back in the late '80s. He lined up with all the other kids
So as far as I'm concerned, Brandon holds the mutton-bustin' record for Vernon County. But now I'm wondering if I would let Zuzu challenge him?
Unlike the high dive and the teeter-totter and this amazingly long slide that used to exist at the city park, mutton bustin' has not gone the way of other crazy cool forms of entertainment from our childhood. As of 2012, it's still an event at the Youth Fair and Rodeo, and kids still line up to get thrown off the back of sheep in the rodeo arena. There still are no helmets, pads, or liability waiver forms to sign. I'm not even sure you need parental permission to enter. So, theoretically, Zuzu could participate in this sport in just a few years. And part of me thinks that would be awesome. And part of me is terrified that she'd get her head trampled by a crazed sheep.
Sooo... What do you think? Would you let your kid mutton-bust? Or would you kill their rodeo dreams in the name of safety? Or maybe she could mutton-bust in a bicycle helmet? Covered with a big cowboy hat?