Rural Reality Communications

Rural-Reality Communications is devoted to documenting rural lifestyles. Please send us your reminiscences and stories. We would like to share them.

The following arrived recently, written by a renaissance cowboy who has spent some time at Coyote Creek.

It's a Living. or That's Life.
by George Heald

Rowdy eased the pickup through the pasture looking down over the edge of the bank. It had snowed last night, about three inches on top of a freezing rain, so things were slick. He'd unrolled a couple of bales at daylight and the cows were hungry but a quick count showed that one was missing.

As he dodged old stumps and water cuts, he saw her, a young heifer due to have her first calf in March. She had been walking down the bank to drink from the creek when she had slipped. Bad luck had her stuck tight in a little clump of trees.

Being a cowboy of the new millennium, Rowdy used his cell phone to call Wild Woman, the owner of the ranch. He told her to bring his chainsaw and a couple of ropes.

The heifer, hearing noises above her, breathed a sigh of relief. She had fallen with a tree just in front of her back legs, and one tree just behind her front legs and a big one square in the middle of her back. She couldn't stand up and she couldn't go forward. Her belly and brisket hurt where the trees pressed against her. Her legs hurt from kicking them. She had flopped and thrown her head around until she had torn her ear and bloodied her mouth on some rocks. For the last two hours she had just laid there praying for help and she was getting awfully cold.

"What we'll do," Rowdy said to Wild Woman, "is cut that little tree in front of her back legs off. Then we can drag her hind end downhill until she pops out of those other two trees and she should be able to get up if she isn't too weak."

He started to cut the tree at ground level, ramming the saw into the dirt and snow while Wild Woman held the heifer's legs out of the way. About two-thirds of the way through, the chain broke on the saw. Wild Woman said, "I'll go back and get another chain."

"Na," said Rowdy. "I think I can get my pickup over across the creek. We'll tie the ropes together, hook onto the top of the tree and pop it out of there. It shouldn't take much."

The first try the tree didn't budge so Rowdy locked it down in 4 low, backed up as far as he could and went charging forward. As the ropes stretched tight as a rubber band, Wild Woman, trying to help, leaned forward across the cow to push on the tree. The last coupe of inches of the tree and roots broke loose with a loud snap. The tree shot across the creek smashing into the back of Rowdy's pickup. Wild Woman did a beautiful somersault in midair. She then landed on her back, rump first, in the creek with arms and legs sticking straight up in the air.

Rowdy jumped out of his truck, surveyed the v-shaped dent in his tailgate and began to cuss like a sailor, only to hear louder and more explicit cussing coming from the creek. The heifer slid down the bank on her own and managed to get to her feet and walk off to get something to eat. She breathed a prayer of thanks, but thought to herself, "Those angels sure do cuss a lot!"

 


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