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8/10/2004

Takin' It Kinda Easy

Well, nothin’ all that excitin’ is goin’ on out on the ranch. Michael and I hauled some cows and calves by trailer to a pasture 8 miles away on Sunday. The grass has been green from all the great rains that we’ve received. If yer from the city ya may not know that that means loose, watery manure. Now, ya may not have wanted ta know that, but it figgers in the story. Bein’ Sunday, I was takin’ it kinda easy and didn’t figger on much work, so I wore a white shirt. As the last calf jumped from the back of the trailer, Yeah, you guessed it, he sort of sprung forward driving a hoof full of that loose green stuff right at me. Anyways, my shirt isn’t white anymore.  
The day was quiet and just a little warm compared to the unusually cool days we’ve been having. The rest of the cows were all hid out in the shade of the crick, so we didn’t figure on lookin’ ‘em up. But, as we popped over a big hill we spied the old herd bull standing by himself by the edge of a pond. So, we headed over to check ‘im out. Good thing we did. When we walked up on ‘im he looked gaunt and as he began to move it was apparent that he had hurt a hip or muscle in his rear quarter. That didn’t stop ‘im from takin’ a swim in the pond. Guess I could have gone in after him. I needed ta wash my shirt anyhow, but dang it! I was still clingin’ to the idée that I wasn’t really doin’ any work today, and well, even though I’d be swimmin’ jumpin’ in that pond appeared ta be more work than I’d planned for. 
He stood there lookin’ at us and we looked at him till I finally picked up a big rock and flung it in his direction. Splash! Guess he didn’t like the splash, cuz he turned and headed for shore. We ended up walking him to the pens a little less than half a mile away.  
By the time we got there he was plumb tuckered out. We got him headed up into the trailer, but that back leg jest didn’t want to work jest right and there we stood with this big bull half in and half out and he wasn’t goin’ any farther. 
We pushed. We cussed. We twisted his tail. He didn’t seem ta notice any of it. Finally we tied a rope on one side of the trailer and around his back side. Michael stepped up to the front of the trailer with rope in hand and began to pull. He’s a strong young fella, and with me shovin’ on the rear end of that bull he staggered uneasily into the trailer.  
Well, now he’s been home a few days and we’ve been babying him and he seems to be improving. He’s getting old. He’s been a great animal but the ways of ranching dictate a few unpleasant happenings. White shirts with ugly green splotches is a minor thing. One thing that maybe isn't quite so minor is that older animals either die on the place and you loose the money that can help keep things going or you sell ‘em. It's too bad but, I reckon he’ll see the sale ring one of these days. 
So Long, 
The Cowboy 

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