Day Writing: It did not go as planned | TSLN.com

Day Writing: It did not go as planned

We had a bull out in the neighbors. Long as we were saddled and headed up the road, why not run out west "real quick" and grab the old, gimpy cow, her calf with pinkeye, and a yearling bull? They were the final three pieces of the bovine puzzle that needed to head to summer pasture.

It did not go as planned.

We neared the lane into our corral and the gimpy cow did the old, belligerent cow thing and veered one way. The bull chose the same moment to lose his cool and blow off the other direction with his head and tail held high, and the calf did his darndest to use his one good eye to add to the swiftly deteriorating situation.

My husband headed off in pursuit of the bull, so I zoned in on this irritating old cow. Being who she was, the cow quickly gave up running away for a feeble attempt at taking my horse, whom I had maybe ridden twice before this incident. While I am not a roper by any stretch of the imagination, her antics provided the perfect opportunity to drop a loop over her head as she raked the horse's shoulder.

Perfect, except my nine pound mini Dachshund believed I roped that cow so that she could kill it. In for the jugular she went at almost as fast a pace as she shot back out, yelping profusely and heading for house at a high run. I was a little busy, deduced by her sheer speed that she wasn't going to die, and returned my focus to reducing the cow's oxygen supply and helping her see the light. One way or the other.

Then I heard it, my husband yelling for me. I grumbled under my breath that he was on his own, and bore down a little harder on the cow. But, he persisted, and I finally gave up my magnificent opportunity to go see what he needed. I topped a high spot to see he had the bull roped on the Cheyenne River breaks, and the bull was downhill of his horse. The horse had all four feet in an area the size of a dinner plate, and was practically sitting down in his effort to hold that bull. My husband and saddle were a true testament to how prepared we were for this wreck as they balanced precariously between the horse's pinned ears.

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Perhaps his hollering for assistance was legitimate.

We switched the rope to my bigger, but far less gutsy horse, and between the two of us got the bull drug back up on relatively flat ground. Then my husband said, "Wait here, I'll be right back."

Having been through similar situations more than once in my lifetime, I demanded to know exactly where he thought he was going, and made it known I had no desire to spend my entire day wrestling this bob-eared bull back to the house. He just looked at me half confused, and repeated himself as off he went to the corral. While it was a mere quarter mile away, I figured I was on my own for a good a while.

Then, here he came right back, as promised. In a tractor?! He pulled up to the bull and after I choked him down set the bucket on him. He then jumped out and put a log chain around his neck, hooked the other end to the tractor bucket, let the bull up, and we slowly proceeded back to the house. After varying between walking, dragging and attacking the bucket, the bull sulled up and decided being drug to death was his desired outcome. At that point my husband scooped him up in the bucket, drove to the corral and dumped him over the fence into a pen.

The only one more surprised than the bull was me. I hadn't ever been through such a situation in a location a tractor could reach, let alone given thought to using one. But, there we were, a mere half hour into the whole ordeal and finished. Our horses weren't exhausted and neither were we. It was suspiciously easy and effective.

The only one a little worse for wear, other than the bull, was Maggie the Dachshund. She was remorsely standing on the step, little tail stuck straight out behind her with the end turned down. An occasional drop of blood giving evidence to the fact that the old gimpy cow had made contact, and her tail would forever be a tick shorter. By the following morning she had miraculously recovered, and you could almost hear her telling the "real" cow dog about her harrowing experience saving the day, and the battle wound she gained for her efforts.

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