Sunday, October 09, 2016

Baxter Black - Hoot and a Holler

Hoot had a way of keepin’ the bubble level. Which ain’t as easy as it sounds in the cricks and hollers around Ada.

Ol’ man Johnson was tight with a dollar bill but flexible when it came to runnin’ cattle. Meanin’, he turned ‘em out on his ranch and gathered ‘em up but the numbers didn’t always jibe. He now owned several steers that had evaded sale day for at least three Octobers.

He made several attempts to bring ‘em in himself. Goin’ so far as to enlist the aid of a cowboy or two, five Boy Scouts on three-wheelers, a company of coon hunters, six archeologists from the University of Tulsa looking for the Oregon Trail, and a water witcher from Fittstown. But, alas, the wild cattle still remained free!

As a last resort he asked Hoot what he’d charge to gather the critters. “Ten bucks,” said Hoot.
Hoot showed up with two horses and a truckload of Catahoula Leopard dogs. Best cowdogs in the country accordin’ to Hoot.

Hoot and Bill saddled up, loosed the dogs and lit out from the corral. Ol’ Mr. Johnson saw ‘em off then went back to the house.

It took the dogs less than ten minutes to find the strays. The riders could hear the dogs bayin’ and cryin’ just past the first holler. Hoot and Bill rode up on the noise. Eight head of three-year-old steers were bunched up together like baby elephants square dancin’! The dogs were runnin’ circles around the frightened beasts.

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