Baxter Black: The compassionate cowman
Ryan Summerlin May 18, 2012
Willie is a great example of the compassionate cowman. He should be a poster boy for St. Francis of Assisi, except St. Francis is in Kansas and Willie lives in Colorado. During calving season he observes certain procedures that he has perfected when a heifer needs help.
The calving lot is near the house. He makes regular checks out the window using a spotting scope and binoculars. When his services are needed he stealthily approaches the recumbent heifer from behind carrying two calving chains. He wraps one around each wrist and puts a handle in each pocket. He only moves closer when she is pushing and her head is down. He is careful not to let the chains make noise as he double wraps each foot above and below the fetlock. Then pulling only when she pushes, he facilitates the delivery. They are a team, he thinks, he and the heifer. A bond is formed between the shepherd and his flock. He imagines her gratitude!
His wife has always encouraged him. She watches through the scope. “You are really good at that, Honey,” she says. “Yes,” he thinks to himself, “I am.”
Picture that same scene being enacted, except after dark. Girding his loins he dresses warmly and engages the use of his calving jeep. He drives in the calving lot and carefully parks so the jeep lights do not reflect his shadow as he begins his stealth-stalk.
Using his proven method, he hangs the two chains on his wrists, puts a handle in each pocket and noiselessly sneaks up on the heifer. This particular night he manages to double-wrap a chain on one of the protruding front feet, when the heifer lifts her head and looks back at her molester. Her eyes shine like Wylie Coyote’s just before he gets hit by a train!
There was a moment when time stood still. Willie could clearly see the wrapped calf’s foot, his wrist and the chain slack laying loosely on the ground. The next moment he was jerked from his feet and drug 150 yards like a bass lure going through a welder’s boneyard!
Ten minutes later analyzing the damage, he found one boot missing, his belt broken, his jeans down around his ankles, glasses gone, Scotch cap gone, calving handles gone, his white legs sandpapered, scratched and scraped, but thankfully, he still had the ability to move his wrist.
He limped into the house aching for some comfort. Some assurance that his cause was noble, that his sacrifice worth it, maybe even some praise. His darlin’ wife looked at him and trying to offer some solace said, “You’re lucky to be alive.”
Willie conjured on that, then asked as only a survivor of Titanic or Katrina could relate, “If I was dead, would you come and look for me?”
“Of course,” she said, “When Desperate Housewives was over.”