Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

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August 19, 2013
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Mad Jack Hanks: Tales From The O-NO Ranch 8-19-13

How many times, gentle readers, have you had one of those close encounters of the almost panic situations? NEVER? Oh I bet you have. I have had several in my comings and goings at different times in my life.

The latest one was two days ago. I returned home from my morning coffee resolutions at the T Bar Inn only to discover Clancy, “the wonder dog” had been bitten by a rattler. It’s obvious even at first glance what happened to him. I was really surprised because he usually just will look at a bull snake, cock his head a little and wander off. Just the same I examined him closely to discover he had been bitten on the nose and according to the vet that is much easier on a dog’s recovery than on the leg.

I grabbed a shovel and started around the house pokin’ under ever tree and in every bush lookin’ for the snake. I went down to the corrals, through the garage and covered every inch until I was satisfied the snake had left back to the pasture. I went and got antibiotics and pain/swelling medicine and came back and doctored ol‘ Clancy.

A few hours later I remembered that I had ol’ Howdy, my fat paint hoss, penned off as he was trying to founder. It was time to feed him and put some fly spray on him as the flies seem to be really bad. Just about everywhere I see cattle they are all bunched together fighting flies. I opened the door to the feed room and started in. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something come crawlin’ in behind me and right by my right foot.

Yep, it was a rattler! I ain’t makin’ this up! That ol’ rattler was within two to three inches of my right foot and I’m wearing loafers. He decided that he would try and get under the wooden floor and found out he couldn’t get it done. That gave me time to restart my heart and grab a shovel off the wall beside me and cut off his head. I then took my knife and cut off his rattlers, seven in all. He was not large, maybe 15- to 17-inches. He was large enough to hurt me bad if I had not seen him and stepped three inches to my right and landed on his back. I threw him out in the yard until I could finish what I was doing and then I would toss him out in the pasture. When I got back to where I tossed him, he was gone. I think he went under my bush hog parked nearby. Some three hours later I was out in the back and I saw him squirming around still trying to crawl. I reckon he was lookin’ for his head. I picked him up and tossed him over the fence into the pasture. He scared the T-”waddling” tar out of me. I am watching the ground very closely and I suggest, my friend, that you do the same.

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, Let Freedom Ring and I’ll c y’all, all y’all. ❖


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