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12/16/2005

Just Another Day

While a lot of outfits have their cattle close to home by this time of year we generally hold our cattle over in the Faris Pasture through most of the winter. We first started renting the Faris pasture in the 1920s. The country had gone through a cattle panic in the early 20s and this particular pasture had laid idle for several years because no one could afford to rent it. Granddad Gray finally scraped up enough money to come up with the rent. All the pastures were in bad shape going into the winter so the cattle were driven to the Faris and turned loose for the winter.  
 
He didnt need to break ice in the mornings. Spring water kept a nice fresh flow of water in the creek and when the first winter storm blew in Granddad found the cattle fat and healthy after the storm. The oak covered creek bottom was better than feeding them hay on an overgrazed pasture at home.  
 
They say a snow is coming. So, this morning I offered up an extra helping of protein supplement we call range cubes. Granddad and my dad called it cake long after we had stopped feeding what was known as cottonseed cake. Dont know how she did it but there was a young heifer on the wrong side of the fence. Not hard to tell my cattle as Im the last hold out in the neighborhood with Hereford cattle.  
 
We dont have a gate on that fence with the neighbors, so I proceeded to take the fence apart in a place that happened to have all the wires spliced together at about the same spot. With the fence down I began to feed my cows nearby while that heifer just stood there and looked at the goins on. She walked up to the opening, put her head down to smell around and just stood there!  
 
One of the cows even walked through the opening turned around and walked back and STILL the heifer stood around. And she couldnt have been waitin for an invitation, cuz I was invitin her at the top of my lungs, although with each invite I was beginning to add expletives that might not have sounded all that complementary!  
 
I finally got in the pickup truck and drove through to the other side. Of course the heifer turned and high tailed it down the wrong side of the fence. I drove in a big arc eventually cutting her off and turning her back up the fenceline. Now, all she had to do was walk along that fence and when she got to the opening Id yell a little bit and scare her through. No& She got within 10 yards of the opening and instead of staying near the fence she pranced a big arc of her own AROUND the opening and continued along the fence where of course there was no opening to cross through! I swung the pickup around and stopped her again. By this time she had gained a few new nicknames which I probably shouldnt repeat here.  
 
That little game of ring around the rosey continued for several repeats until finally she turned and ran through the opening like she knew it was there all along. I figure she was just bored and was enjoyin seeing the steam come rollin out of the pickup windows. Cattle have a way of actin dumb and ya just know they know exactly whats goin on. Soon the fence was back up and I was headed down the trail. Just another day on the ranch. 
So Long, 
The Cowboy 

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