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The Cereal Killer 

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

by Lee Pitts

Our forefathers and foremothers had to gather their food by hunting and gathering. This took up much of the time of primitive man. Today, this primal need is satisfied by going shopping. Only instead of the man bringing home the bacon, the modern woman stalks her prey in the serenity of the grocery store instead of the jungle. Usually, it’s much safer except when a shopper has more than 20 items in the express lane or gets the last package of Ho Hos.  

A hunter/gatherer is judged by the quantity and quality of the food she brings home from the market. On this score, my wife must be considered the “Great White Hunter.” Last week she returned with her game bag filled with 14 boxes of cereal, including Uncle Sam Cereal in a red, white and blue box, the Nintendo Cereal System and Outrageous Fruit and Grain. Of course, my wife was aided in her quest by all of the advertisements appearing on television and in Good Housekeeping

The bran scare has made such an impact on my wife – sitting in our pantry at the present time are the following cereals: Fruitful Bran, Bran Buds, Oat Bran Option, Bran News, Crunchy Bran, Cracklin Oat Bran, 40 percent Bran and 100 percent Bran. In fact, we have bran in every percentage. My wife thinks just buying bran will make us healthier. 

The problem is we do a much better job of buying all this cereal than we do eating it. My shelf runneth over! I have boxes of Alpha Bits, Cocoa Puffs, Kix and Trix in the pantry, and I don’t know if they have made any of them since I was a kid. There is also a box of Christmas Crunch I’m just not in the mood to eat in the middle of March. 

The dilemma we faced was we were running out of room and money at five bucks a box but I couldn’t bring myself to throw the boxes away. I had a few options however. I could either begin a weevil ranch or feed the stuff to my barnyard animals. After all, some of these cereals are made by livestock feed manufacturers.

When I began feeding the cereal to the animals, I made some startling discoveries. The dog preferred Fruit Loops to Fruit Rings and Teddy Grahams made the cat go sterile. The ram preferred the Apple Jacks box to the actual cereal. 

Let me warn you, however, there are dangers to feeding cereal to your animals. An ewe did get a cereal toy caught in her throat and the Sugar Frosted Flakes caused a hyper-active reaction in the lambs. Also, it is not true goats will eat anything… they do not care for the snap, crackle, pop of Rice Krispies. Cows do enjoy an occasional breakfast of Wheaties and Cheerios but it depends to a large extent whose picture is on the box. 

My horse, Gentleman, has consumed vast quantities of all the new oat bran cereals, but they have not produced the desired benefits. Gentleman has gained weight, lost his hair, is forever flatulent, has not lowered his cholesterol significantly and had his heart broken by a paint mare after he got “heartwise.”

Several animals began to mysteriously die after I began feeding them cereal. The peacocks died from an overdose of Cocoa Pebbles and I have since began using Raisin Bran to poison mice ever since the greenies made D-Con harmless. This causes me to wonder if any of these new cereals were ever tested on laboratory rats. Some of these cereals would give a vulture indigestion. 

Which leads me to the final method of getting rid of all the cereal my wife brings home from the store. When the in-laws announced they were coming over for dinner my wife asked me what she should prepare for dinner.

“Nuttin Honey,” I replied.

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