Lee Pitts: The yo yo cow
Some animals bring happiness with them. One of nature’s most disagreeable blunders brought happiness when she finally left. We not so affectionately remember her as the “Yo Yo Cow.” Let me explain.
I knew she was repulsive, belligerent, disagreeable, offensive and walked with a limp when I bought her but she only cost $650. Even at that she was priced sky-high.
The Yo-Yo Cow indeed looked like a million but I knew she couldn’t be THAT old. She wore so many brands there wasn’t room for mine and her ears had been pierced so many times she looked like a rock star. Her tail was long and her teeth and temper were short. She darn sure knew what a squeeze chute was and I never did get her in it. So I just turned her out with the rest of my valuable collection.
I would have sworn some of my other cows acted like they had met Yo Yo before… but even her old friends didn’t like her. The Yo Yo Cow kicked at my dog, charged my horse and wouldn’t even let the birds roost on her back. She avoided contact with all living creatures including intimate contact with cattle of the opposite sex. The mean old Yo Yo Cow was darn sure a loner. Later I would learn that she was also a loaner.
Yo Yo was fastidious about her appearance though… she was fast and hideous. She had a speed index over a hundred which was slightly faster than my horse, Gentleman, which made her impossible to gather. Thirty minutes spent trying to bring her in meant two days of fixing fence. Even twelve of my cowboy friends couldn’t corral this one miserable old cow.
The Yo Yo Cow was wreaking havoc on my fences and my horse and making it impossible to gather any of my other cattle. I was at wit’s end when Slick “just happened to drop by the ranch.” Slick said he had sold his place and his cows a few years back and made his living these days wild cow chasin.’ Although he didn’t really look like a cowboy, with his diamond stickpin and eel skin boots, but he did have a reputation in the area for being able to bring in wild cows, particularly ones that fit the description of Yo Yo. In all fairness, I must admit that he did allude to the fact that he had “500 head that he was kinda sharecropping.” And did I mention that one of the old brands Yo Yo was wearing was his?
I offered Slick half the value of the cow if he brought her in but he just laughed in my face. “I’ll only do it for 100 percent of the proceeds of the sale when she’s sold at auction, plus fifty dollars for my expenses. Payable in advance,” he said with his hand out.
“Are you crazy?” I said, But I had a sick feeling that Slick knew the tallow man now charged $100. I couldn’t just shoot her and let the varmints eat her. Anyway, the buzzards and coyotes probably wouldn’t touch Yo Yo out of professional courtesy. I had few options. I knew Yo Yo wouldn’t die from disease because even germs couldn’t stand her. So I took Slick up on his generous offer.
To make a long story short, Slick got her corralled in less than ten minutes with a whoop and a holler. She practically loaded herself.
The next week I saw Slick at the auction as the old Yo Yo Cow hit the ring with fire in her eyes. He was over hiding in a corner mentally spending the check for “his” consignment and making note for future reference of who bought her. She’d no doubt keep coming back to Slick like a yo yo.
As I left the auction that day Slick could tell that I was on to his game. “There’s just one thing I don’t understand,” I said. “What’s your secret in catching your cows?”
“It’s easy,” he said. “You just have to understand they don’t like humans.”
It’s for darn sure Slick didn’t fit that description.