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1/12/2007

A Tour Through The Brush

Last Tuesday I took the day off from Drovers Mercantile to gather some cattle. Kassi s little hoss, Grey Moon has turned into quite a cuttin horse. So, I like to pick out a cow/calf pair and bring them to the pens by themselves instead of herding the whole bunch. It always turns into a lot of fun! I had quite a few head that I wanted to catch for the day so I set things up by feeding some range cubes close to the pens. The cubes are like candy to the cattle. They like em and they provide extra protein to the cattle allowing them to utilize the winter grass.  
 
Anyway, the cattle stayed close to the pens and all Moon and I had to do was to cut out a pair and with a few twists and turns we had them all gathered by 12:30. We even caught 3 old cows that I figgered I would take home where they could get a little extra feed. So, I thought we were doin alright. But jest about then one of the trailer tires gave out. I got the old tire off the trailer and found that the one good tire on that side was still enough to carry the load so we headed fer home.  
 
After unloading I headed back to the pasture to pick up Moon. There was one old cow that I hadn t penned the first time around. Heck, I still had a good part of the day left, so I decided to go on a wild cow hunt. Luckily she hadn t strayed very far from the pens and she was actually headed back that way when we spotted her. I turned Moon loose on her and soon we were headed toward the pen at a pretty good pace. I was thinkin to myself that his couldn t be easier. Shouldn t have done that.  
 
Just as we were nearing the gate that ol gal made a whirlwind turn and caught us both sleepin! So, we headed out and around her and started for the pens again. I knew she wouldn t get past us again. Next thing I know she jackknifed and did a little twist while putting on the afterburners and dang if she didn t get past us again!  
 
Now I was wonderin what the blazes cuz no cow we ever come up against had ever beat Moon like that. We were only beginning to find out jest what this ol gal could do! She did loops. She spun like a top. She ran this way and she ran that way. She even slammed Moon up the side more than once. Moon always got her cut off, but she was gainin ground in the direction of some sumac brush that was taller than me on horseback. Sure enough! She eventually fought her way to that brush and a lot of horses I have known would have met their match by this time, but ol Moon jest charged right into that brush like Brer Rabbit makin his way into home sweet home! Sure was glad I had my chaps on!  
 
Now, right here, yer probably wondering,Why didn t he jest rope that ol brute? And like I said I like ta cut them cattle out of the herd and drive em to the pens jest for the fun of it, so I didn t even have a rope on the saddle. Now if I had roped her out in the open we would probably have been alright, but after what Moon put me through chargin through the brush I am purty sure that if I had tied a rope on that saddle I probably would have gotten hung before I ever caught that cow.  
 
We darted this way. We turned that way. Brush was slappin my hat, my face, my hands and for sure my boots and legs! That cow tried hidin in the deepest part but Moon jest dove in and pushed her out. She tried crossin a crick and recrossin that same crick but we stayed on her tail. I don t know how many times Moon nearly tossed me out of the saddle with those quick turns! I was havin about all the fun I could handle.  
 
We finally got ol bos out in the open again as she was showin signs of wear and tear. But our problems weren t over. Now she was on the wrong side of that crick. She was headed for a clear crossing but at the last minute she turned west and darted into another big patch of sumac. This stuff was like a forest! I pulled Moon off and he didn t like it. I could tell he was mad. He wanted that cow a whole lot worse than me! So we swung around the brush and located her hiding in the crick bottom. Soon we had her running east toward the crossing and darn if she didn t turn the right way. At least for a little while. Now she was heading east and trying to repeat the whole ordeal over again. If she beat us to the crick she jest might win.  
 
Moon jumped a little ditch that drained toward the crick like he was in a steeplechase. And, yessir! The cow turned back in the direction of the pens. Trouble was she was still in that first patch of sumac that started this whole mess. There she was tryin one more time to hide in the thickest part. I tried to pull Moon off again, so we could go around and enter the patch from the other side, but Moon was so mad the jest shook his head and charged right in! The cow exploded from her hiding spot running for the open trail that we use when we are in the pickup. Moon bolted and nearly left me sittin in a pile of brush! That cow was makin a last dash for freedom and Moon who had already given about everything he had galloped hell bent for leather to cut her off! Jest about then the cow lost her nerve and stumbled to a halt. Moon wheeled on a dime and faced her off. She blinked, nodded her head a few times and turned for the pens. It was over. Moon beat her. She knew all along what we wanted and when the fight was over she handled quietly all the way. I stepped out of the saddle looked Moon in the eye and told him he was the best damn horse on earth! Then I turned and shut the gate. Now, you would figure that a Cowboy sittin in the saddle would still put out some energy in a situation like that. I tell ya what! I was tired. But, I was never so surprised as when I pulled off my coat and my shirt was wringing wet! That was some exercise!  
 
Moon got an extry helping of feed when we got back home. I brushed him down and treated him like a king and I could tell by the look in his eye that he felt like one! I found only one small cut on his chest. I had more blood than that! My normally brown chaps had turned almost white from the constant barrage of brush against my legs. Yeah, that ol cow turned into a lot of unexpected work but the unexpected entertainment was all worth it! 
So Long, 
The Cowboy 

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