Mad Jack Hanks: Tales from the O-NO Ranch 3-19-12
I fully understood now why the local cowboys around Amarillo had told me not to go to work for C.C. “That guys crazy, you can’t please him and you won’t be there six weeks before you leave or he runs you off,” my buddy Charlie offered.
To retrace my steps just a little … C.C. did not own this big historic ranch that I wanted to work on to learn my cowboy skills. He was a partner with the owner and C.C. did the hiring and firing and it was his cattle that were on the place. Now gentle readers, C.C. was not a cowboy. He never had been. He came to Texas from the Chicago stock yards after they closed down. He was not well liked in the cowboy community.
C.C. had purchased 160 some odd heifers to run on part of this 150,000 acre ranch. He wanted to move them that morning from one pasture to another. The gate between the pastures was smack dab in the middle of the section instead of in a corner where most gates are.
The cowboss, myself, one other “wannabe” cowboy and the cowboss’ father-in-law were the crew that morning. Let me confess that I was green as grass and really had no real cowboy skills other than I could ride fairly well, rope a little and had some experience with yearling cattle. The cowboss wasn’t much better. C.C. after visiting with me down at the sale barn one day decided in time I would be educated enough to replace the cowboss whom he did not like and visa versa.
We put the heifers together in that big pasture and headed toward that gate in the middle of the pasture. C.C. whom by the way has been dead and gone for many, many years decided that he wanted to count the heifers through the gate. So … he parks his jeep right next to the gate and gets out and starts screaming, “Bring ‘um … Bring ‘um on!” Everyone there except C.C. knew that those heifers were not going to walk politely through the gate so C.C. could count them. Heck no. They were spooked at him even being parked there and now he’s screaming as loud as he can and they ain’t about to even get close to him or that gate.
Right away they began to split up in three different directions. The cowboss, not being as stupid as he behaved most of the time, knew it was time for him to go after some of the escaping heifers, but mostly to get away from C.C. “Hanks, stay here with the main bunch and try to hold ’em until we get back with the strays,” he screamed at me.
They all left me there with about half of those goofy heifers and they were all lookin’ for some place to run. C.C. is still screamin’ at the top of his lungs for me to “Bring ‘um … Bring ‘um #%$&***$% those $%^#$#$$ heifers!”
I was runnin’ back and forth on my pony trying my dead level best to keep my cattle together until the guys got back with the run-aways. C.C. had lost
it by now and was in his jeep headed in my direction screaming his head off and waving his arm out the window. He roared up beside me in his jeep which just scattered more heifers and screamed, “#%$$%## I told you to BRING ‘UM!”
I was so mad by now I had taken my right boot out of the stirrup and if he got close enough to me again and started screaming and calling me every vile thing he could think of, I was gonna’ try and put that boot right in his mouth.
He pulled away and left the scene of the crime and we didn’t see him for two more days. We got the heifers together, counted them through the gate and did it all without too much trouble. C.C. was not impressed.
Stay tuned, count yer blessings, check yer cinch on occasion and I’ll c y’all, all y’all.
As a side bar I did last four months before I found a job operating a small cow, calf outfit and moved to a more sensible place.
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