Saturday, March 21, 2015

Tally Touche...

It is that time of year when marking and branding is in full swing.  
I miss not being there, to the point of dreaming about it.  The bawl of calves, the lowing of mama cows, the horses sweating. Leather creaking, ropes swinging.  Dust swirling, smoke from the branding fire, and the smells. The youngsters working the ground crews, the young buckaroos trying to show the old buckaroos a thing or two.  
I, like most I know, have been marked by a hot branding iron, and vaccinated for a lot of things that humans are not prone to. Nicked by a cutters knife, and rope burned, and had the air knocked out of me by a well placed kick.

The cowboy sense of humor is often strange to those from outside.  
The Cowman had a small bald spot on the top of his head. At one branding he saw the ground crew had a large calf with a nut sack the same color as his hair.  He did the castrating on the calf, threw the nuts in the nut bucket, and slipped the large hairy sack into his vest.  Later in the day when we broke for lunch, and all were balancing plates and drinks on knees, sitting around the fire, the Cowman took off his Stetson to wipe his brow, and there sat the nut sack over the little bald spot. No one said a word about it, everyone tried not to look at it, but one's eyes were drawn to it like a magnet. One youngster started to giggle and the Cowman gave'm the look, which put paid to that.  The Cowman put his Stetson back on, and we finished the branding.  That evening as we gathered around the fire, having a few well earned toddies, the Cowman took off his Stetson and said something to the effect of... 
"In this business it helps to be concentric diversified, and when this takes (he pointed to the nut sack on his head) I'm going to the bank with an expanded business plan!"  He never cracked a smile or looked anything but serious.  We paused for a moment in sheer wonder at his cowman's logic and business acumen. Then with much laughter we sent the kids to roundup all the nut sacks they could find.  
And that's how he double verified the bull calf count. 


  1. Ok, I'm hanging on your next words...

  2. Oh... NOT nice stopping in the middle of the story... :-P

  3. LL - don't say "hanging" please.

  4. Sorry Adrienne. The Devil made me write it.

  5. Come on.... I am a city gal and need you to spell it out for me!

  6. LL, the Devil made you do it the first time...

  7. LL: LOL, I should have known.

    OLD NFO: Sorry, who knew bankers would want to meet with me on a Saturday.

    ADREINNE & LL: The devil is in the details.

    GRANNYMAR: I have tried, hope it makes sense.

    ARKANSAS PATTI: Finished it.

    LSP: Padre, and again the next time...

  8. I don't believe that I'm going to write this, but yes, it makes sense.

  9. ROTF, yes it DOES make sense... sigh...

  10. If it were huge hogs like I posted the other day, LL could have a complete hat.

  11. Don't today's cowboys use dirt bikes? I heard horses are too much maintenance. You can ride a dirt bike hard, and put it away wet, and it's fine.

    With a horse, not so much...

  12. LL: Of course it does, because you get it.

    OLD NFO: Yep, you got it!

    WOODSTERMAN: In the "old" days, I would bet, it was hard to beat LL for cajones.

    FREDD: Yes they do, on occasion, use dirt bikes to gather. But it is a mortal sin to rope off one in the corrals. Plus, a horse will take you home, a dirt bike doesn't give a damn.

  13. Oh my goodness gracious sakes alive!

  14. A whole world I know very little about even though I grew up on a small farm.

  15. GRANNY ANNIE: Thanks for stopp'n by.

    TABOR: I hope you enjoyed the peak.

  16. Are you finished with the fence?

  17. Your comment about being vaccinated during branding reminded me of the time, when we were teen-agers, my friend Andy Peek was working with the crew vaccinating cows.

    He had a cold and was coughing, sneezing, and had a runny-nose, so, of course, he was tackled by the rest of the crew, held down, and injected with the available antibiotic.
    He said it didn't help.

    He passed out of this world way too young a number of years ago.
    One of the good guys.

  18. Grandpa had some cows out in Nebraska back in the 30's, they named one "Biffalo Bull" since he was a local legend. As kids growing up without a dad, he was eldest and had to be The Man. He and his younger brothers and sisters, rounded up wild horses in a small box-canyon. Oscar won a few saddles in rodeo events...