Sunday, March 19, 2017
Cowgirl Sass & Savvy
by Julie Carter
Cowboys are generally reasonable critters but sometimes their perception of reasonable and normal gets them in a bit of a bind.
Jerry and Donna, husband and wife, were driving down the road to pick up yet another load of wheat cattle to put out on pasture. This particular morning, Jerry was explaining in great detail to Donna just what his “reasonable expectations” included.
All he wanted was a normal wife, he said. A normal wife would not think crackers were an acceptable substitute so would not run out of bread. A normal wife wouldn’t expect much of a poor wheat-pasture cowboy.
As is often the case in the Texas Panhandle, the weather was despicable, cold and raining right straight down. When they arrived at the pasture where their cattle to be picked up were penned, Jerry pulled up to the gate and waited. Nobody moved. Finally, he asked Donna, “Aren’t you going to open the gate?”
Donna explained, “No normal wife would get out in this mess and get her boots muddy or her hair wet.”
Jerry got out and opened the gate with no comment.
He backed up to the chute, got out and opened the trailer gate but as he headed back to the pickup, the wind blew the gate shut. This happened a time or two more until Jerry got a stick to prop it open.
Like a normal wife, Donna sat warm and dry in the cab of the pickup. As Jerry got back into the truck, the stick on the gate slipped and it banged shut. Finally, Jerry said, “OK, you made your point. Please get out and hold the gate for me.”
Later, thinking to make up, Jerry told Donna that he had noticed she had a flat on the inside dually of her feed truck. He told her if she would take the tire off, he would fix the flat while she fixed lunch. Donna said she thought a normal wife would be taken to lunch.
That explosion passed as Jerry realized they still had all afternoon to go. They could put out another set of cattle and get them settled before dark. His thought was that he could go pick them up, Donna could go build a half mile of hot-wire fence he hadn’t had time to get to and then they would meet to put the cattle out.
Donna said she had other plans for the afternoon. She outlined a normal-wife strategy of going to the mall and perhaps getting her hair and nails done. Jerry could then meet her and take to the new restaurant she had heard about.
The following day there were more cattle to get to wheat pasture. When this was done, Jerry noticed the hay trailer needed loaded as snow was forecast. Donna had always tended to this project.
Jerry wasn’t that slow. He had become accustomed to her doing certain things. Today, so far, had contained no reference to “normal wives” and he had forgotten what had prompted him to mention it the day before. Donna informed him that all four tires on the hay trailer were flat and she recommended that he do something about it because flat tires didn’t fall within the parameters of normal wife expertise.
It didn’t happen often, but he gave up. He told her he could live without a normal wife, just please get back to doing what she had been doing. And, while she was at it, when she took the flats off and had them fixed, she may as well rotate the tires around the trailer too.
As a normal cowboy’s wife, she got right on it.
Julie can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org