Monday, February 04, 2013

Baxter Black: Some cattle hard to rope

Todd’s neighbor has raised good Hereford cattle as long as Todd has known him. As years went by, Mr. Gerald, the neighbor, let his herd dwindle in numbers. Then last winter he fell and injured his knee.

Todd offered to help and was called upon. Just a word about Todd — he is an east-river Dakota cattle farmer with the heart of a west-river rancher. He’s a good horseman, wears a big hat and carries a 60-foot rope.

Mr. Gerald wanted to ship some of his long yearlings. His herd consisted of 12 big cows, one old bull and assorted progeny. On the big day, Todd went to the back of the pasture and worked his way through the coulees and breaks, pushing what he could gather to the corral. Mr. Gerald had his wife drive him out to help in their Jeep Wrangler.

Things went smoothly till they got close to the corral. In particular, Mr. Gerald wanted to ship a yearlin’ bull who had somehow missed his castration appointment. After turning back at the gate twice, Mr. Gerald gave Todd permission to rope him.

Any fair-to-middlin’ roper relishes the opportunity to rope a big target, especially if it belongs to somebody else. It didn’t take long for Todd to run him down and rope him around his stubby horns.

The target refused to be led to the gate, and Todd didn’t have enough horse to drag him. Plus, the bull ran up the rope a couple times trying to intimidate Todd. They were both losing their temper.

Todd yelled at Mr. Gerald to pull his Jeep up in front of the gate. His idea was to tie his rope over the bumper hitch and let the Jeep drag the bull into the corral.

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