Baxter Black: Appreciate the little things
Have you ever had a simple gesture of kindness end up unappreciated?
James and Kevin had just chased a steer to the end of the arena in a fruitless attempt to head and heel the crafty critter. James had lost his hat during the run so Kevin stopped to pick it up for his heeler. He hung his loop and coils over the horn and swang off. Well, not quite off. As his right boot cleared the cantle, it hooked the loop.
As in a lot of near-death experiences, Kevin remembered very distinctly seeing the rope around his ankle as he neared the ground. He kicked, meaning to shed the snare, but instead, he stuck his toe into Buck’s flank!
In that split second he thought to himself, ‘It’s a good thing I’m on ol’ Buck. A less seasoned horse would spook.’ Buck, of course, was thinkin’, ‘Whoa! What was that!’ He spooked and was goin’ flat out in three jumps!
He sat like a man on a sled tryin’ to pry the loop off his foot as he bounced along on his pockets, feet in the air, hands on the rope, leaving a trail through the arena dirt like someone draggin’ a sack of watermelons down a sand dune!
Ten feet behind the flashing hooves, Kevin peered through the flying dirt. They were fast approaching the awestruck ropers at the chute end of the arena.
In desperation Kevin laid flat on his back and kicked the captured boot! The loop came loose, his heels bit into the dirt in full flight. They stuck and he stood straight up like Wiley Coyote runnin’ into a canyon wall! With a dramatic flair he tipped his hat.
James rode by the rigid, unrecognizable figure covered with dirt from hair to his spurs. “Nice ride,” he said, “Least you could have done was pick up my hat.”