Sunday, February 28, 2016

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy

Cowboy with a cell phone

 by Julie Carter

In the aftermath of the bitter cold and heavy snowfall at the ranch, relationship "moments" often progress from the proverbial "cussing a blue streak" to moments of hilarity that know no bounds. Locking the classic ranch couple up together for days on end is rarely the picture of marital harmony. 

In days long ago, communication was limited to whether or not one could hide well enough from the other. Cell phones changed all that. The dreaded sound of “ring ring” prefaces what is sure to be grounds for at the very least a good fight and on a good day, a possible homicide.

Frozen water lines, livestock drinkers with a foot of ice to be broken, vehicles that won't start or stay running and drifts filling every road going anywhere to do anything keep moods teetering on the brink of the dark side.

Cabin fever only intensifies the powerful desire to choke the life out of anything that moves, breathes or speaks. The flatbed pickup stuck smack in the middle of the road for two days was a testimony to the situation. Buried in snow as high as the bed of the truck, it begged the question, "Why would anyone just drive off into a drift like that?"

His wife is quite clear about the answer. "Three days in the house with me is why."

Right up there with the sound of that phone ringing is hearing gun fire in rapid succession that will cause some thoughts unbecoming to a lady.

While unloading groceries, the wife came to attention at the sound of a pistol firing down in the lot. She hurried over to see her husband on a horse trying to “coax” a bull up the lane to the corrals and ultimately into a waiting trailer. He saw her and hollered, “Run over there and throw open that trailer gate and shut it on this bull when I get him loaded.”

Finally corralled with the encouragement of the .22 loaded with bird shot, the cowboy followed him to the trailer. The gate was slammed shut but didn’t latch, which is fodder for another story on another day. It did, however, require some bodily danger to her to restrain the bull who didn’t want to be.

The wife suggested he go right to the sale barn with this contrary bull much like a similar-in-nature one they’d recently taken to town after he’d worn out his welcome.

“He’s just a yearling!” protested the cowboy, at which point the wife made a note to herself to not help gather bulls in the fall.

Being practical in all things, she knew the possibility existed that at any given time she could be called to a horse/gunfire come-apart if this method of cowboying continued. She also found it sad that without the cow dog they once had, they had been reduced to firearms to gather or move bulls.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, winter life continues. Ring ring.

“Come on, quick. Bring the feed truck and the tow strap. I’m stuck in the lot with a trailer loaded for the sale barn.”

She dutifully responded and after fish tailing out of a drift and narrowly snaking through the gate with his truck and trailer on the end of a tow strap, he said to her, "You didn't hit anything did you?"

She managed a smile while answering, “Why, no dear.” And under her breath, “only by the grace of God."  And it wasn’t the gate posts she was referring to.

Julie can be reached for comment at or simply by "Ring, ring ..."

No comments: