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Ya Never Know

I’ve been busy getting articles ready for the next Kansas Cowboy newspaper and have neglected writing in this here Cowboy Blog. Dang if there haven’t been all kinds of things to write about, just not enough time to fit it in! So, here goes on at least one of those things.  
Michael and I spent Sunday getting things caught up around the place. We gathered some cattle in a place we call the Faris Pasture. Of course, a family by the name of Faris once owned it. I had a few smaller calves that hadn’t been weaned last Fall to get off the cows, plus an old cow that needed to come home. Everything went like clockwork. We loaded and hauled the cattle home and decided the day was going so well we’d ride across the section and bring some of his two-year old heifers home. A Cowboy couldn’t have asked for a better time!  
Monday morning I loaded up an old cow and a couple of yearling calves and headed for the Farmers & Ranchers Sale Barn in the fog. My route takes me over the dam a Kanopolis Lake. The hills just sort of drifted in and out of vision as the pickup hummed down the road. By the time I reached Old 40 highway the fog had lifted. Driving through the hills past CK Ranch always gets my blood flowing. Old 40 follows very closely the Smoky Hill Trail that carried all of the early traffic before the railroad reached this part of Kansas. The ruts of the trail can be seen just off of the highway. My mind carries me away to Conestoga wagons, Butterfield stage coaches, Seventh Cavalry and so many other events that those old ruts could tell about.  
Further down the road I noticed a young Hereford cow standing by herself looking curiously into a crick. Didn’t think a lot about it. Had my mind on getting’ to the sale barn at Salina. Well, I got there, unloaded the calves and the old cow. I always get sentimental about haulin’ off my cows. She had given me a lot of good calves in her time. I kind of telepathically apologized for our relationship ending in this way. What’s a Cowboy to do? It’s the business I’m in. 
On the way home I was still reminiscing over that old cow and a few more that had gone her way. There she was… that same Hereford cow was standing with here head down gazing into the crick. As I got even with that crick I realized why! Her calf was in the water up to his neck. The only thing saving him was that the water was shallow enough to push off the bottom and keep that drenched head in the air!  
I was hurtling along about 60 miles per hour on a fairly narrow highway. No place to turn around. At the next intersection I wheeled around and beat it back to the nearby farmyard. Calling out and ringing the door bell brought no response so I grabbed my rope and headed out back for the crick. To my surprise the cow was gone and when I got to the crick the calf was gone, too! I checked closely to make sure it hadn’t drown and then noticed that the water grew more shallow the further north I went.  
In the time it took me to pull into that farmyard, mamma cow had finally coaxed that calf into the shallower part of the crick and out onto dry ground. I spied her about 50 yards to the north, soakin’ wet calf at her side, suckin’ for groceries for all it could. 
I smiled… The walk back to the pickup was almost embarrassing. Now, what was I gonna tell this fella if he drove in a caught me walkin’ across his yard with a rope in hand? ‘Course, no one showed up. I crawled in the truck and headed back out on the highway. That fella never would know the drama that played itself out for a few minutes in his back yard. Which put me to thinkin’… Just what don’t I know? 
So Long, 
The Cowboy  


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