Baxter Black: The headin’ and heelin’ on the high plains
January 7, 2011
Imagine the header clinging to the rack on the back of a flat-bed, chasing a cow across the high plains of Colorado with the hazer banging along beside him in a quarter-ton Ranger with a vet-box in the bed. Cowboy stories are about wrecks: horse wrecks, cow wrecks, dog wrecks, financial wrecks, Tyrannosaurs Wrex, and flat-bed, mad cow, Ranger-with-a-vet-box-in-the-bed, wrecks!
Rancher Tom had Dr. Stan-the-Man out to his place. Whilst there, they spotted a cow with a big lump on her jaw.
“Better lance it,” suggested Doc to Tom, “Ya never know.”
It was getting late, no way to gather the bunch. “Just rope her,” said Doc.
Tom put his son, Junior, in the back of the flat-bed. Son had been roping since high school and Dad figured maybe he could reap some payback for all the miles, horses and entry fees it had cost haulin’ him to junior rodeos since he was 12!
Tom got the cow runnin’ down the tracks of the feed wagon. Junior was leanin’ out like a flag pole on the Titanic! The deck rocked violently as Tom swerved and slid to stay on the left side of the cow. In one wild lunge, when the flat-bed hit a dip and came off the ground, Junior threw his loop! “A beeyootiful catch!” thought Tom, as he turned off and watched the slack go out of the rope.
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Back on the deck Junior realized he had about as much control of the situation as he would have ropin’ a doggin’ steer off a bareback bronc…no place to dally!
They regrouped. “I’ll try and run over the draggin’ rope with a tire!” said Tom.
Junior clambered back on the flat-bed and Dr. Stan lined up on Tom’s right side. Across the plains they flew! Tom chased that rope, duckin’ and divin’, sluicing and careening in hot pursuit like a pinball machine gone haywire!
The cow reached a cross-fence and turned in front of the flat-bed. Tom’s right front tire caught the rope at the same time that Dr. Stan, who was hazing, hit the fence, cutting off her escape!
It took several minutes to heel the cow, restrain her and untangle Doc’s windshield wipers, side mirrors and antennae from the barbed wire. They congratulated themselves for the great job, as only cowboys would do after such a successful wreck. Oh, and the abscess popped itself in the collision, so lancing was not necessary. Talk about efficient! They all took credit, of course, and Doc sent ’em a bill for consulting and navigation.