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Horses in trouble

Horses, like little kids and I reckon some adults find themselves in trouble from time to time. Most of the time it’s not a life threating situation, but for sure, it can be. Some time back I wrote about one of our favorite horses at the Lamar Ranch in Terrell, Texas. That would be Flax. Flax was a beautiful light sorrel with an almost white mane and tail. He was the first horse I put in my string when I arrived as no one was using him and he was usually reserved for guests etc. My son, Andy then took procession of him when Andy was around 10. He would drag calves to the fire on him at branding time. Years later when we were prepared to move to Colorado and had everything packed and we were to leave the following morning, the doorbell rang. One of my cowboys told me Flax had stuck his foot in an irrigation pipe and broken his leg. Did I want to be the one to shoot him. I couldn’t bring myself to do that so I handed my pistol to my cowboy and let him do that ugly chore.

Yesterday when I had finished riding, I turned my two horses out to graze around the shop area where there was an abundance of grass. I had halters with lead ropes on them. On my older horse I tied the lead rope up around his neck as he was always stepping on it and the way he figured, he was ground tied. The other horse was skilled at dragging his rope around as he grazed. A couple of hours later I decided to check on them. I found it odd that they were standing side by side, very quiet, staring at me as I stood on the front deck. “Well, if they are through grazing, I’ll turn’em out in the pasture,” thought I. As I approached, I noticed the horse I had tied his lead rope up around his neck was in trouble. Yep, part of the lead rope had found it’s way to the ground and he had stepped on it and when he pulled back, he tightened it around the small of his neck, and he was about to choke down. Just the same, he remained very calm and let me begin to try and get him loose. I thought for a moment I might have to take a knife and try to cut it into but it was so tight I tossed that idea aside. Finally, I managed to get it loose enough I could free him and he was very relieved. I know that because when I lead him to the corral, he had his nose in my right front pocket.

Three days ago while sitting on the back deck being lazy I noticed the neighbor’s horses some half mile away in a dead run to the barn from the bottom pasture. “Man, that’s unusual,” I pondered and then I saw why. It appeared either a large wolf or a young lion was right on their tail. I decided there was no way a wolf was in this part of the country, a lion, yes. We’ve had them before. Right before they reached their corrals and barn area the lion (I think) gave up the chase. There was one smaller horse that fell behind and at one point I couldn’t see him and had the thought that he had been knocked down. But then he appeared and it seemed he was a little addled but managed to get moving again. The next morning at coffee, neighbor Eldon told us they had a mountain lion on their place (four miles west of me) the night before as they found a half eaten coyote half buried with brush and weeds.

Gentle readers, that satisfied my mind that what I saw was indeed a lion after the horses. The terrain out here is rolling with lots of rabbit brush etc. It all happened so fast I collected what I could in my brain and then it was all over. I hope all of the ponies were okay. I know the following morning my horses refused to come in the corral and go under the shed for their morning oats. They were really spooky and then I knew for sure a lion was or had been on the prowl.

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, be aware of that government lion that’s on the prowl, and I’ll c. y’all, all y’all. ❖

Uncertain

Well, pilgrims, according to Mr. Webster, the definition of the word, “uncertain,” is not reliable, undependable etc. I can go with that because that is where you and I are in today’s world. We are uncertain and we are not sure how reliable the future is. I have been reading a profile of one George Soros in the fall issue of Range Magazine and it is very well detailed on what this man is all about. If I remember correctly his fortune is in the of $11 billion range. He is 89 years and is a Marxist. He has taken advantage of unsettled structures in government all over the world and has invested his money in such a manner that he once broke the bank of England! He works at creating chaos anywhere and everywhere as he is extremely wise when it comes to markets etc. and how to make money from the results of his deeds. He is responsible for much of what is happening in our world today and is proud of his accomplishments.

Not only that, he has folks under his umbrella from both sides of the aisle because of his desire to put money where it will do him the most good. Is there a racial divide in this country? Yes, of course, and it’s getting wider and wider. Look to George Soros, gentle reader, he is the one, according to this article in Range Magazine, that is mostly responsible for much of what you see on television and what you hear in the news. It is scary and makes one uncertain if and what can be done to stop this evil person from wrecking so many lives.

Do you remember in years past when we watched the “telly” and inside this deep, dark cave there was this evil being sitting on a throne of some sort and he was going to control the world. It’s scary how close that was to G. Soros. What makes a man like that? What makes anyone desire so much more than is even possible to obtain? Dear friends, we are in for a rocky, bumpy ride as these protests continue all over the country and much of it, if not all, funded by G. Soros’s many different organizations.

Let me jump away from this topic and catch you up on other uncertainties. I did not expect to run out of calendars so soon. I have none left. Again, I thank you guys, always my friends, I get orders from you each and every year. You have been so loyal to me I feel really special!

On another note, a little incident I would call unexpected or certainly, uncertain was this: When I went to feed the ponies during the snow and ice storm, my “perfect” horse was shivering and shaking even though he was under the shed out of the weather. I fed them and then went to the saddle room to get a blanket for him. When I approached him and started to unfold the blanket, he came unglued and started looking for a way out. The only way out was over me and thank goodness he decided not to run over me to escape. He is an old ranch horse and broke to death unless you want to put a full blanket on him. Larry did tell me the horse had dumped him on one occasion when he got spooked at something or another. Okay, so now I just need to pay attention and see if we can avoid the things that might cause him to “get spooked.” I reckon, he will just have to shiver and shake if he likes ‘cause I will not try that again.

Outside of those uncertain things, I reckon I will close this column for this week and hope you are all well.

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, sorry about the calendars, keep yer head on a swivel, and I’ll c. y’all, all y’all. ❖

What have we learned?

What have you learned this week dear friend and gentle reader? Yes, you did! We learn something every day. It may be good and it may be not so good, but something comes our way every day we did not know. For example, I learned this week that both of my new ponies are “user friendly.” Yep, and that makes this ol’ cowboy purty darn happy. I also learned that my new dog was a traveler. It didn’t seem to matter what I did for that little dog she was gonna’ go visit the neighbors. It didn’t matter if I liked it or not. I kept her in the house much of the time and left her here one really hot day when I went to buy groceries and she got up on my desk, answered the phone but left the receiver off the hook and other concerning things. The long and the short of it was, I met neighbors I did not know when I had to go get her or they brought her home. Finally, one neighbor, Larry, took a liking to her and he wound up with her. She will be happy there.

My brother called this morning to inform me as he was reading his Bible, he discovered in the book of Nehemiah, that ol’ Nehemiah was approached by some folks that wanted him to come down off the wall he was building and meet with them in the land, are you ready? the land of ONO. Yep, my brother wouldn’t lie as he is a student of the Bible and a retired Southern Fried Baptist pastor. It’s funny what a feller can learn!

I also learned that instead of 167,000 folks that had died from the COVID virus, actually only 9,200 had died as a direct result of the virus as all the other folks had had some complications of other illnesses. How about that? I also heard today that they, (whomever they are) expect another 240,000 to die by the end of the year. Heck, I reckon that they don’t get the same news I get or maybe they just up and constructed their own news.

I also learned that the hombre who murdered the Trump supporter was shot and killed in a gun battle. There is some social justice after all even though it may come in small portions. Personally, I can see where the tide is beginning to turn. Folks like you and me are just flat fed up with what’s going on in our America! I still see folks driving slowly around with both hands on the wheel (not a bad idea) and trying to breathe through their mask. They have been made afraid, very afraid, and will do whatever is asked of them by those running our state. My neighbor Marcie, told me that while at the post office without her mask, two seniors on electric bicycles verbally blasted her for not having her mask pulled up. The “do gooders” sometimes just can’t help themselves as they decide to police the rest of us that just don’t ride down the same trails as they do. It does take all kinds, but man, sometimes I just want to throw a “wall eyed” fit and show the world what a “jerk” I can be if pushed to my limits! There, take that.

By golly I also learned that this coming Tuesday, (this is Friday) that we will go from 87 degrees F to 40 degrees F for a daytime high. WHOA! Man that’s quite a change but I’ll be ready to get out of some of this 90 degree heat that we have had for so long. Well, could be, you learned something from me this week. Regardless, I hope you have a good week and that all of your news makes you happy and this day is a day that won’t come back and we must be ready for “tomorrow.”

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, and “fear not for I am with you!” Not me silly, the good Lord is with us in our times of trials and we always need to remember that! I’ll c. y’all, all y’all. ❖

Up to date

Gentle readers, I thought I would just take this column and sort of bring all of you up to date on what’s going on here at the ONO Ranch. Man, a lot has been going on. You are aware that I now have two new horses and a new dog. I LOVE’UM ALL! I have been blessed with such good critters. I wish I had had horses like these two many times. I can’t wait to get out and see them in the early morn and scratch their respective heads before I feed them their cherished oats and senior horse feed. Hummm, now that sparks a thought! What is senior feed for us old goats? Could it be oatmeal, potato soup, and foods like that or, heck, let’s just keep eating bacon, eggs, chicken fried steaks, cowboy stew and pot roast. We must as long as we can. As for me, I buy a lot of prepared meals as I get to not want to fire up the oven or stove.

Back to my little Border Collie that was given to me, I thought I was going to have to give her away because she was always going to the neighbors or trying to hitch a ride with anybody and everybody. I never liked dogs in my house. Guess what? She has the run of the place and by the way, if you are the one that called the other day and didn’t get an answer, it was because Belle, my dog, answered the phone while I was at the market and left her in the house because it was so hot and smoky. No kiddin’ I came home to find the phone on my desk off of the hook and a few items out of order. She lays in here and watches me fill out calendar orders and answer the phone and this little bugger is really smart!

She piled up in my chair and tried to answer your call. I reckon you will have to call back. WHAT A SWEETHEART!

Son, Andy tells me the big fire north of Grand Junction is over 50 percent contained and the other fires are beginning to head in the same direction. The interstate through Glenwood Canyon is back open and that’s good.

I haven’t watched much of the RNC convention but have seen bits and pieces of it and it all looks good to me. Encouraging to say the least. This poor 17-year-old kid that shot and killed two rioters and wounded another seems to be on the hot seat or so it seems the press wants it that way. It took a kid to go out and try and protect a business and had to shoot, from all appearances, to keep from getting stomped into the concrete. I hate all that he is going to have to go through before this is over. He is charged with murder but isn’t it interesting out of all that has gone on when good folks get killed nobody is charged with anything, hummmm. I may have to take part of that back. I think the guy that killed the retired black officer trying to protect a business was charged, I think.

It has been HOT, HOT, HOT, and breathing all that smoke is sure hard on all of us and our animals and pets. At last count, 60 something days over 90 degrees this summer and the weather girl says maybe rain this weekend and cooler temps. I can go for some of that.

All you folks that have ordered calendars, THANK YOU so much, I do appreciate all of you and by the way, if you want to order and I have failed to inform you as to how you do that, here we go: Calendars are $15 with postage paid and they will be signed. If you choose to purchase at least three, I will include an 8 1/2×11 original pen and ink cartoon that has been featured in The Fence Post or elsewhere. I choose what to send you as I have over 1,400 of these. Of course, for every three, you get an original. I had a lady order 25 yesterday, thank you Geri!

I think that about does it, I’m sure I left out something, but for me that’s normal. See, here I go, I didn’t tell you my address, go figure. Jack Hanks, P.O. Box 825, Wellington, Co. 80549 or email onoranch@msn.com or call my cell at (970) 581-0710! How’s that?

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, when you get to thinking you are purty hot stuff, try ordering somebody’s else’s dog around! I’ll c. y’all, all y’all. And also Larry that ol’ pony is just like you promised. I love that rascal! ❖

The middle of nowhere

Well, gentle readers, after all these years and wondering where the “middle of nowhere” was, I finally believe I located it. It was this way: Larry called me a few weeks back and told me he had what he thought was the horse I had been looking for. I knew I was talking to a cowboy simply because we were “speaking cowboy” and a feller always recognizes when that takes place. Larry told me he was 85 years old and had been ridin’ this ol’ pony for 20 years and he was one solid, broke, do anything, go anywhere ranch horse. I was concerned about the pony’s age but Larry struck me as a man that would not lie, not only about his horse, but anything else. “Well now Larry, where is this horse located?” I asked. “I’m 30 miles south of Brush, Colo.” I knew that country to be ranch country for sure. “Just bring yer saddle Mad Jack and come and ride him, you will like him. He’s the horse you been looking for.” (I paraphrase.) “What do ya want for this horse, how big is he and what’s he look like?” I pondered. He answered all those questions and I decided I did in fact need to go check this ol’ pony out. I took neighbor Jim with me as he knew some shortcuts and we made it in about three hours. Larry and I pondered price, age of horse, horse’s ability, health, the current gold standard and arrived at what we both thought was a reasonable price.

Larry agreed to deliver the horse and I believe he did because he and the wife just might could use a little trip to somewhere out of the “middle of nowhere.” They delivered the horse the next day and we had a pleasant visit over coffee, I paid him and when they left I knew he for sure was “a cowboy’s cowboy.” Folks, I got a good lookin’ bay that for sure looks like a cowboy’s horse and he has lots of energy but broke, broke, broke and user friendly. Neighbor Jim had sold me a horse for a dollar recently as he just had too many and had bought another. This horse has a slight health issue, but another broke, solid ranch horse with some age on him as well and a good looking bay also. I mean, how lucky can a feller be? I’m fixin’ to tell ya!

I’ve been wanting a dog to tell all my stories to and to keep me company this winter. Neighbor Braiden came by the other day with a stray Border Collie that showed up at his place. He and his wife, Dakota have two dogs already so they were checking with the neighbors to see who had lost a dog. Nobody fessed up so they asked me if I would want her. I affirmed that I would as she was very docile, and sweet, sweet, sweet. She was also dirty, been on the run and really needed a home. I don’t like dogs in the house, at least until now, and so here we are. She got a bath, a new home, lots to eat and lots of love. I did catch her layin’ up in the middle of my bed yesterday and, nope, that ain’t gonna’ happen. We’ll work it out. She sleeps in the laundry room with a night light, a radio and a fan and seems to get along just fine. I think she must have come out of the “middle of nowhere” as well. Glad I got her, two new horses, a new dog and a new lease on life, how about that?

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and remember the quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put’er back in yer pocket. I’ll c. y’all, all y’all. ❖

The living is easy

Gentle readers, most of you might remember that song way back when called Summertime. Yep, “Summertime and the living is easy.” Well, that depends on how old you are and how life is treating you in these “golden” years. Sometimes it ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

I stopped on the interstate just this week to help a stranded young woman with two little ones who had run out of gas. She almost made it as she was just a mile from Wellington. I told her I would run in and get a gas can and return with some petrol so she could get off that busy interstate with those kids. I went to the quick stop and they would be happy to sell me a 2 gallon gas can for SEVENTEEN dollars, and then I had to buy a couple of gallons of gas to get her on her way. She had told me, “I have money!” Of course she did. It takes money to get tattoos and toe rings and the like, plus she was driving a rather expensive vehicle. This gas can had two, count them two funnels and we had a difficult time trying to figure out how to make either work. She figured it out, I could have never. “The living is easy.” I didn’t charge her anything at all. I’m paying it forward.

It seems to me that anything you buy, be it a lawn sprinkler, gas can or a box of Ritz crackers, I just have a hard time getting any of them to work without breaking a sweat! Most every tool one buys comes packaged in hard plastic and you need a chain saw to get in there and remove the fencing pliers. I suspect there are a lot of young engineers fresh out of college that have been given jobs where they have to prove how clever and “different” they can design and come up with new ways to make old folks want to just run for the border. Oh, but Mad Jack, they are trying to be environmentally friendly. WE HAVE TO SAVE THE PLANET YOU DUMMY! Plastic straws are on the “hit list” but none of the other plastics, like the bumper on your pickup and containers for fly traps and all that stuff. Of course all of this is expected given the lunacy we endure from day to day.

There is this little “goon” that hangs around the post office and he is wrapped up like a mummy and his job is to intimidate anyone and everyone who attempts to go in without a mask. He has jumped on me twice and Ol’ Mad Jack got a little hostile the last time. He is a little younger than myself and a good bit smaller so he thinks in a pretty big way as I am six foot two and two hundred pounds. If I had been thinking, I should have threatened to give him a big hug instead of another alternative I offered up. “It’s Summertime and the living is easy!” Well, by golly it ain’t been all that easy here of late. I know, I know, you think I’m just an old grouchy man who wants these last years to be enjoyable with no issues whatsoever. That ain’t gonna’ happen and I know it. I’m glad the old feller is screaming, IT’S MY LIFE TOO!” Hopefully in the future I will just ignore him and go about my business and let him suffer in his own self indulgence. I know he must be feeling as if he is saving lives plus, he gets all the attention that he must have never gotten.

I think I have most of it under control and yes, I am HAPPY and plan on staying that way until the dirty rotten, bitter end! You know I kid a lot and you can feel free to toss some of this aside. Don’t toss this aside: Some of you may be new to this column and I haven’t told you how to order my 2021 Hoots calendars if you want one. Here we go: Jack Hanks, P.O. Box 825, Wellington, CO 80549. or email onoranch@msn.com.

The calendars are $15, if you buy three you will receive an 8 1/2 x 11-inch original pen and ink Hoots cartoon that is signed and I choose what to send you and that’s always only the best. The calendars will be signed and postage paid.

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and take time to “pay it forward” as the living is easy! I’ll c. y’all, all y’all. ❖

High dollar deal

I wondered, gentle readers, as a young man in my 30s what I was doing among these folks around me. There we sat in the conference room with the founder’s picture staring down at us from the paneled wall. As I tried to consume what was going on without lookin’ or actin’ like the outsider I was, I began to relax and understand that I was there because THEY wanted me there. That’s a comfortable feeling knowing they are including you because they believe your opinion matters. After all, you are responsible for a multimillion dollar ranching and farming enterprise. I listened and listened some more, absorbing all that I could as this was my first experience like this. The folks around me were senior vice presidents, the CEO, accountants, advisers, etc.

When it was all over I had a tremendous sense of relief and a whole lot more confidence because of the confidence apparently placed in me with no more experience or education that I had with matters like these. It was for sure a high dollar deal. This was a world wide independent oil company with a stellar reputation for exploration and production in areas that others had not fully embraced. They owned several farms and ranches across the south and several places in Texas and I was the “man” who managed one of these properties. These guys were old money from back in the 30s and 40s and knew their business and now, I was one of them. I couldn’t hardly believe it. There I had given up my position with Proctor and Gamble to “just be a cowboy” and here I was. One of the reasons they hired me, I understand, was because I had been with Proctor and Gamble and my lovely sweet wife Martha, whom everyone loved!

After 10 years there, the next high dollar deal was not so valued. The money was there, the folks that owned it all were not. Nope, they would take a leave of absence from being what I considered normal, decent, caring folks and let you know that you were not at all like them. I got the message from the “get-go” and slowly began to realize I had made a horrible mistake. I understand I was chosen out of some 80 applicants. Big deal. They got a good man with a good family but that concept was so foreign to them it didn’t compute. I was told when I was fired after eight months that I was an honorable man but they just DIDN’T LIKE ME! Well, for crying out loud, Charlie Brown, we can’t have an honorable man runnin’ this outfit. Why, he could possibly destroy our reputation as being unpredictable and for sure, ruthless in our dealings at times! Yep, it was a high dollar deal and I learned that there are folks out there that ya wish ya just had never come in contact with. One minute they had you ridin’ high for your accomplishments, the next minute you were lower than a rattler in the Arizona desert sand. Sure wasn’t my cup of tea. My pride and ego would not allow me or my family to be scorned on occasions like we were. “We heard you guys went to church last Sunday?” We don’t have anything to do with Ralph Lauren or his employees, EVER!” That purty much says it all. I was SO GLAD TO GET FIRED. The next few years were really tough but we survived and here I am, telling you all about those HIGH DOLLAR DEALS! Trust me dear friends, money is not the answer to all of your problems. Ask Judas!

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, remember, “it’s just the facts, ma’am, just the facts.” I’ll c. y’all, all y’all. ❖

Age is just a number

“Age is just a number,” that’s what my surgeon told me last year when he thought I was whining too much about the condition of my busted leg and how I felt about it all at age 79. I said “doc, ya just don’t know until ya get to be my age! (the doc was the middle 50s). He just sort of jacked his jaw, looked at me like I needed to be thankful I was in as good of shape as I was regardless of the “wreck.” I knew he was right, gentle readers, but I was tired, beat up, sore, and pressing my mind in the wrong direction as to how long it would take before I was back to gettin’ around, not only my house but the dance floor. Well, by golly, I did get around the dance floor some last weekend and boy howdy was it fun. I didn’t dance much as the old “virus” has placed so many restrictions on businesses that a lot of folks just stay home. I got tired of stayin’ home!

I believe the doc is right about “age just being a number,” because it’s been a little over a year since I got hurt and I can see the improvement in my ability to stay a little longer at task that I would not have been able to do a few months back. My old corrals needed some repair to say the least and I have most of that done. My yard is a mess but mowed and some weeds pulled. Speaking of weeds pulled, I went to my dentist yesterday as I had another tooth break off at the gum line. Ya know, one of those that they put an expensive crown on and three to four years later, they just snap off. I say that, but age has a lot to do with it for sure. My teeth now are 80 years old, what do I expect? That only left a very few on my bottom jaw so I have decided to have those pulled, a couple of implants inserted and get a new set of “chompers”’ that snap in. Man, I do not like going to the dentist especially for those types of procedures, but remember, “age is just a number.” I’ll probably get it all done and then fall over dead the next day. Sure hope not!!

I’m still looking for that special horse to keep me company and maybe a good dog as well. Like I’ve said horses are in my DNA and that’s just a fact Jack! I cannot believe the prices of horses these days! A good gentle (so they claim) horse that has a decent handle, no buck, no bite, no rear, no colic, no cribbing, no founder, not herd bound and can be ridden only on occasion and not give you lots of trouble is only from $6,500-$15,000. Now the cost of new teeth would more than buy that horse that lands in the middle. You guys know I got “skunked” really bad by some folks in South Dakota to the tune of, well, over fifty-five hundred bucks. Makes you lose faith in folks that claim to be “country” and honest and God fearing. Well, they most likely need to be God fearing. If I was God, I’d be keeping an eye on them for sure.

All in all, life is what one makes of it and I’m makin’ it fine, distractions and all and hope you are as well. I just got a nice, much needed little shower and I hope it stays around all evening as I am desperate for a good general rain.

I don’t really know what to do with 80 as an age. I’m glad I’m here and I’m glad you are here and like I’ve said in the past, I’M HAVIN’ FUN’! Matter of fact, I’m goin’ dancin’ again this Friday and hope this situation we are in will be resolved before long. It is certainly an itch that I just can’t seem to reach!

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, say a little prayer for our president and for you and yours and we’ll all feel better for sure! I’ll c. y’all, all y’all. ❖

The funnies

When I was a child, I loved the “comics” in any Sunday edition of any newspaper as they were always in color. As I got older I looked for my favorites such as Garfield, Dagwood, Hagar the Horrible, Calvin and Hobbs and Rick O’Shay in earlier years. Of course, I always liked to draw and maybe create my own comic strip. I tried that a number of years back and the “yuppies” in the ivory towers of the major syndicates pushed me aside as the “hillbilly” they assumed I was. I am so grateful for this publication and others that have given me the opportunity to stir up my brain and try to come up with “funnies” that I hope most of you enjoy and have enjoyed for over 26 years.

Truthfully, gentle readers, I never thought it would be available to me. Trust me, after some fourteen hundred cartoons in The Fence Post, I have done numerous illustrations for magazines, books, book covers and many of them with a humorous theme. That was one of my goals in life, (bucket list) as a young man in my 20s to be able to created illustrations for advertising or for posters, books etc. I done it! YEAH!

I hope you understand a cartoonist CANNOT always come up with a cartoon that EVERYONE is going to appreciate or think is funny or even cute anymore than a woman can expect to get her husband to do all that she thinks he needs to do at times, Hummmm? Here is where I am headed with these ramblings: My 2021 Hoots calendars have arrived and I have something new to offer you folks this time around. My calendars have to be mailed as packages due to their size, and postal rates this year are forcing me to go from 12 bucks to 15 bucks for a signed calendar with postage paid. WAIT, THERE’S MORE! If you purchase three calendars I will send you an 8 1/2 x 11 original pen and ink (my choosing) cartoon that is also signed. An original cartoon like that I have gotten from $50 to $250. For every three calendars you purchase you will receive an original cartoon (again, my choosing) and I would not dare send you a cartoon that I wasn’t happy with. I cannot guarantee that you will even like it, let alone turn back flips. That being said, we artists are our worst critics and yes, we have an ego to defend if necessary. Think now: An original cartoon from Mad Jack given as a Christmas gift that cost you next to nothing could be a good thing? There are some of you that order 20 or more calendars each and every year and I DO SO APPRECIATE your faithful business and especially taking your time to read not only my cartoons but my column as well. THANK YOU! I guarantee you, that you guys make me feel 10 feet tall at times and I’m for sure taller than “Jake from State Farm,” but not as tall and special as you can make me feel. My calendars will be in short supply this year (100 less than usual) so if you want to have one this year please don’t tarry too long and be disappointed in the end result. By the way, my friend Lee Pitts made the suggestion of including the original art. Thanks Lee.

The ONO is dry, dry and yes, DRY! It appears I will miss our usual monsoon wet season that usually comes this time of year. No horse, no cattle and no grass and that’s the way it appears I will head into winter. I have had 0.2 of an inch in three weeks, no good, no good at all.

I will not end on a sour note. I’m bobbin’ around here as if I was 40 again, well that’s after I manage to get up, make my bed, brush my teeth and have that third cup of “get up and go.”

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, “wear yer mask” you reprobate and lets hope all of this turmoil ends before we all come unstitched. I’ll c. y’all, all y’all. ❖

Wildlife

I don’t live up in the mountains where one is more likely to see a lot more wildlife than I do here on the ONO. With that being said, I have seen two bull elk just across the road a few years back. There is almost always antelope to view just about anytime anywhere out here. I rode my Harley home late one night from dancing and as I approached the railroad tracks there were about a dozen bison milling around in circles on the tracks grunting and huffing and puffing. Now, I know, according to one Roger Miller, you can’t skate in a buffalo herd. Ride a Harley slowly through them hummm? I tell you gentle readers, I was there, it was now or never, so I just kept one foot down and slowly moved through the bunch with no problems. Yesterday while sitting on the back deck this rabbit comes running around the corner of the house. I found this hard to believe, but he was chasing a ground squirrel through the yard. The little squirrel wheeled around and faced him down. Get this. Then they rubbed noses and the squirrel took off with the rabbit after him. They repeated the nose rub and then went their separate ways. I thought that very unusual. This morning I happen to glance out the window to see an orange, black and white bird (bright orange) feeding a half grown bird with seeds I guess off of pine cones in the tree. That was some fun watchin”. Several years ago I researched if bull snakes and rattlesnakes were compatible. I had always heard that bull snakes would keep rattlers away. However, I read where they sometimes will den up together. I have seen three bull snakes in my yard this year and no rattlers. I may have to change my mind, but I sure like it that way. We have had mountain lions come through on occasion and the reason I know that is my horses went plumb crazy, like Boy Howdy, they would not come in the corral for their oats for a long time. They just ran in circles with heads high and very excited. I had horses react that way on the western slope when we did in fact see a lion in the horse pasture. My neighbor to the west four miles, had a bull moose in his back yard as well as a lion at one time. No, not the two at the same time, different times. Years back I watched a coyote grab a new antelope baby maybe a day old or less. I was sitting on my front porch. Momma came running and pawing and had a friend with her but ol’ Wiley just kept draggin’ that squealing baby away. He would get tired and drop it for a moment, then continue on. The two does did their level best to scare him away but it wasn’t enough, he was gonna’ have that baby come hell or high water and he did! Sad, but a Walt Disney moment it was for sure. I have a resident Bald Eagle that hangs around and hunts on an open section across the road from me. He or she is a delight to watch as they ride the currents and then fall out of the sky like a Superman to claim their prize. I love that stuff. It makes me want to live much longer and be able to witness more and more of it. I’m not sure what kind of wildlife I am, but my governor called me a selfish bastard the other day. I wonder is that a step up from being a right wing, bald headed, conservative, common degenerate? Who knows? I know he said once all of this would be over in June. Julied!

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, DO NOT GIVE AN INCH! I’ll c. y’all, all y’all. ❖