On Tuesdays

Confessions Of A Ranch Lady

I have been debating whether it is too soon to relate a most recent experience of my life here on the ranch? The “I will” won. Here goes…Ok, I admit that I am a curious sort, responsible and yes, a glutton for punishment! Now having said all of that, I literally do not have one single solitary excuse as to why I get myself in the darndest predicaments. Incidentally, I might add, I always have a reason for doing what I do. I think so, anyway.  Now that we have all of my defense laid out, let’s get on to the most recent source of excitement in my life. Here, in black and white, is how it happened.
The sun was cresting the top of the horizon as I started down the mile long drive leading away from the ranch house. I was ready for a fun filled day of painting in Palo Duro Canyon along with Anna, my mother-in-law. As I looked back over my shoulder, I noticed one of “my” heifers laying out on her side in a birthing position. I stopped my rig, backed up, hopped out, and ran back to the house. I needed to rouse my groggy husband from his warm bed so he could tend “my” heifer. Half awake, Jim said in a not so convincing alert manner that, “yes”, he would handle it, and Anna and I were to go on and have a good time painting. As I walked back to my still running Excursion, I couldn’t keep myself from veering away. I just had to go have a look see. So I marched right down to check “my” little heifer in order to look her over. She was not much inclined to let me see her condition. I pressed on walking around her until I had a good view of a calf’s nose, a swollen tongue and one foot sticking out. Disturbed from her efforts, the heifer tried to get up but fell back down. Then as quick as the blink of my eye, she jumped to her feet! Keeping my eye on her, I started to get her hint that I had invaded her privacy. I tried to talk her out of her angry mood, but she wasn’t in the mood for my sweet talk. All the while the sweet talk was flowing, I was trying to back out of her comfort zone that I had so rudely invaded. Now this particular heifer had taken on a pirate’s stance to repel boarders, and that boarder was me. It didn’t take but a second of eye contact to realize that I was deep inside her space. She came at me in a dead run, her head low, and out to make physical contact!  “Now here is where I made my mistake,” as Baxter Black would say in one of his stories. I wanted to see her coming, and I didn’t really think she would actually follow through. I was dead wrong on both counts! She hit me at full throttle on my upper right thigh, knocking me for a loop. In one swift movement with her head going skyward, she connected with my left shoulder and jaw. Whereupon my head hit the ground first when I was thrown backwards. Through my pain and my fighting for air, I saw her do a quick turn and then kick both feet into the air. Luckily in her condition her aim was off. It was not the landing on my backside that hurt. It was the impact of my shoulder and jaw that jarred me, making my teeth feel loose. I had an instant headache. That first impact had sent my cowboy hat flying; rolling over, grabbing my hat, I gathered myself up and stepped quickly to the safety of the fence. Mustering up all I had in me, I climbed that fence. Not one time did I look right or left to see where “Jim’s heifer” had ran off to. Now at this point in my defense, do you think I wanted to admit to Jim that I had just had a tussle with “his” heifer? Heck no!  I didn’t want to, but I headed to the house to spill the beans. It turned out that words were unnecessary.  Jim took one look at me in my blood splattered clothes and boots, covered from head to toe with dirt and manure, and topped off with hay hanging from my hat. In that rather satirical voice of his,  Jim said, “Well do you think you have her good and stirred up for me?” He capped his statement off with a big grin. With my head held high, I proudly said, “Yes, indeed.” She was all ready for him, and furthermore that he had better watch out for her because she would sure get him if he wasn’t careful.
So in closing, you may ask, what bit of wisdom should I impart to you my reader? What can I say in my defense?  I admit that I made several mistakes and furthermore, she is, “Jim’s heifer”. Let him deal with her!

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