Cowboy Collar?
by Kaleigh Applegarth

Coming home from work late one Friday afternoon, going about 60 down a familiar pot hole road, just me and my dogs…North bound and down, good song playing on the radio.  It felt good to be done for the week and looking forward to a nice evening filled with good beer, better friends and maybe a dead pig or two.  All at once my phone lights up.  Expecting it to be Tucker rattling my cage about killing a pig tonight, I quickly answered.  A familiar voice came on the phone….it was Papa Wayne!  Damn!  One more thing to do!  Apparently, the neighbors had called him and reported that one of my cows had a bed frame on her head!!  What the hell? I thought to myself.  Ho do you suppose a cow gets a bed frame on her head and how in the world would you go about getting it off?!

Quickly getting back on the phone, I called up my girls Megan and Emily, the best damn buddies that show up for me no matter what.  We decided to meet at the ranch, load 25 bales of hay in the truck to call the cattle up from the back 40 and we would simply sneak up to her, rope her on foot and before she could run away, we would snub her up tight to the feed bunks and remove the wreckage from her neck.  We thought it was a fool proof plan until we got to the pasture and realized it was old number two…the HELL BITCH!!  Emily manned the driver’s seat while Megan began throwing out the hay.  I settled myself on the side of the feed bunk making sure to stay still while the cows file in around the feeder.  Ten minutes went by and here she came with mangled bed frame clattering along with her.  Just as I threw my loop in her direction, she noticed me , ducked and 86’ed me on her way out.  There was no effing way this plan was going to work!!

The girls and I exchanged some rather profound words, loaded up in the truck and began to brain storm.  We came up with a brilliant idea.  We’d go get the stock trailer and drive out to the horse pasture and get old Wrecks.  He was a little pack horse with a rep for shit canning just about everyone that tries to get on him.  Knowing that there was not enough daylight to go get one of the good horses up at the top ranch, Emily was go run to her place and get Sadie, a little grey mare with a crooked front foot.  I’d only heeled on her for about two weeks before I sold her to Emily.  Megan would be our ground crew.  We gathered our gear and saddled our ponies and regrouped.  We needed a MASTER PLAN! 

In the midst of our strategic planning, Wrecks untied himself and went for a stroll.  Now thoroughly angry, I caught him while stating loudly that we didn’t need a plan.  We were girls for heaven’s sake.  WE could understand each other with rough but understandable hand gestures from at least a mile away.  Megan began laughing at me as I bridled Wrecks because of the conversation I was sharing with him at the time.  I gave her a rather profound look and headed toward the gate.  After clearing the gate I called out, “Watch yourselves!  I’m climbing aboard!”  Once atop, I gathered my reins, pulled my hat down tight, set back a little and gave him a kick.  “Oh shit!”, I muttered as Wrecks bogged his head and went to bucking down the pasture with his head down and his mouth open.  I missed him five.  Now, behind in the saddle, I hurried to get ahead as he neared the fence.  I went to raking his head boggin’ ass as we slid in sideways and bounced off the fence, ripping my pants as Wrecks stepped away.  Smiling in victory, I built a loop and swung it overhead to see if she’d do, sliding some slack until I was satisfied.  Now I was set up right and ready to go.  I looked back and scanned the skyline until I relocated my girls only to find them both rolling on the ground laughing.  Megan giggled, “he almost had you!”.

Smiling once again, I pointed toward the cattle who, even with all the ruckus, were still eating in the hay bunk.  I arched out to the right while Emily blocked the left.  We boxed old number two in.  I swung my rope three times and nailed her!  Wrecks slammed his ass in the ground giving me no time at all to dally so I dallied on the knot.  The cow bellered and jumped around clanging the bed frame on the ground with each jump.  I hollered to Megan to come man my position but waited until the cow was nearly choked out.  Megan took my spot keeping Wrecks faced up.  I booked it over to Sadie, mounted up and jerked Em’s rope loose from her kack.  I kicked Sadie up and picked up two feet.  “Saaaaa-weeeet!”, Em hollered as she ran in to remove the offending chunk of steel from the old hide’s neck.  As number two ran off, she took a swipe at Emily just for good measure.

We laughed as we headed back to the truck and enjoyed a well deserved beer.

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