Baxter Black: Cowhide On The Soles of His Boots
I wanna tell y’all a true story that happened to a friend of mine. Big Jim was judgin’ the rodeo at Burlington last year. They call him Big Jim ‘cause he’s big as a round bale and twice as tough. But he don’t move quite as fast as he did in his ol’ bronc ridin’ days.
Big Jim always had a way with animals. He roped a skunk one time when he was a little boy and drug it home. His dad made him unsaddle a hundred yards from the house. Jim said his ol’ pony walked right into the pond and stuck his whole head under the water . . . several times. He finally sold the saddle. Two years later. In the winter.
They claim him and his dog, Pat, cornered a 300 lb. wild boar in a thicket, unarmed, and did him in with his Barlow.
So Big Jim is used to animals behavin’ peculiar around him.
The stock contractor told Jim that his blue mare would buck out and come round to the right. Jim positioned himself to see when the saddle bronc rider marked’er out. The rider called for the horse.
Out they came pitchin’ and rollin’. The cowboy was spurrin’ fer all he was worth and the ol’ mare was feelin’ her oats. She bucked toward Big Jim. He backed up ‘til he was backed up against the front of the chute.
Ol’ Blue stuck her head right against Big Jim’s chest and pinned him to the fence! She had her mouth wide open and was sqealin’ like a cheerleader at the high school basketball finals. She was strikin’ and pawin’ and flailin’ on both sides of his rigid body. Splinter and sparks were flyin’ off both sides of Big Jims head.
He daren’t move a muscle. He was less than three feet from the dumbfounded bronc stomper who was still spurrin’ like a hound dog in a gopher hole! They were lookin’ at each other with Pekingese eyes.
Silver and horsehair was flashin’ and flyin’ in furious strokes as the rider continued to try and impress the judge. It can be said, he certainly had his attention. This continued for a three second eternity then the mare fell back, wheeled and mule kicked at the petrified judge. Both hooves hit the chute simultaneously on each side of Jim’s head at eye level. Then she bucked off down the arena.
The other judge come runnin over. “Are ya ok? Could ya see what happened? Was he spurrin’ on both sides? How’d ya mark’em?”
“Wull,” said Big Jim, “I know the kids got the makin’s of a bronc rider. He had his toes pointed out so far that from where I was standin’ I could read ‘genuine cowhide’ on the soles of his boots!”
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