In a Sow’s Ear 10-25-10 |

In a Sow’s Ear 10-25-10

How did that happen?! Wade’s right hand looked like a swollen flounder.

“Senior roping,” said Wade, a sheepish grin spreading across his countenance.

Wade, an accomplished roper, has reached the years of dang-it-I-can-still-do-it-by-gum. Which is why he went to Canada to compete in the Senior Ribbon Roping contest.

As he explained it to me, ribbon roping requires a team of two – most often a guy and a gal. The roper (that would be Wade) drops a loop on a calf which has been pre-festooned with a ribbon on its tail. He then swings off his horse and hangs on to the calf in any fashion that works to hold the critter still. Then Glenda (that would be Wade’s teammate) dashes to the (hopefully) immobilized calf, yanks the ribbon free and hightails it to the judge. It’s a timed event.

“I got off to a great start,” drawled Wade. “Calf ran straight out. My horse didn’t miss a beat. I swung my loop; it sailed like a song and collared the critter in practically a nano second.”

“And? And?” I said. “What happened?”

Wade’s sheepish grin appeared again. “Well, I dismounted, worked down along the rope – my horse was workin’ good – got the calf situated so Glenda could grab the ribbon. She did. Then I noticed my hand was all bloody. You know how it is when you leap off, you push against the side of your horse’s neck? I must’ve stuck my hand in a coil of the rope.”

I waited while Wade reviewed the action – silently – in his head. Finally he continued, “These middle two fingers had dislocated and were bent up and lay across the back of my palm pointing toward my thumb.”

“Yipes,” I said. “That must have hurt!”

“Well, not right at that second. I didn’t think. I grabbed the fingers and shoved them back into place so they pointed in the right direction. Then it hurt like the devil. And I was bleeding like a stuck hog.”

Wade sighed. “One of the gals there was an EMT. She advised I go to a clinic and get stitches. Seems like the blood was coming from a big gash at the base of my middle finger. She sort of insisted. And I was getting woozy. She took me to a clinic, but in Canada, you have to pay before they’ll treat you, so I put $600.00 on a credit card. Doc did a nice job. See?” Wade held up his puffy hand.

“Ye Gods,” I said, “you could have lost both fingers!”

“Yeah, I’d a had trouble covering my eyes without middle fingers,” said Wade. “And it sure would have messed up my typing skills. Probably have lots of typos. Guess I was lucky. It was a two-day roping event, but I decided I probably wouldn’t be much of a roper with a stiff hand, so I came on home.”

In an attempt to be sympathetic, I said, “Gosh, that’s tough; go all that way, get hurt, lose your second day entry-fee money, not to mention socking a big pile of dough on your credit card, then have to drive all the way home with a sore hand.”

Loosing another Cheshire-cat grin, Wade drawled, “Oh, it wasn’t all bad news. We won the ribbon roping.”

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