Gwen Petersen: In a Sows Ear 8-6-12
August 22, 2012
This story has to do with a cowgirl and a maverick cell phone. As in, "Oh, m'gawd, I've lost my phone." Or perhaps it's a tale of a mysterious happening … (Eerie music playing in the background … oooOOOoooOOOooo …)
Kathy, the Cowgirl, entered the 21st century via cell phone usage. It's handy while rounding up cattle. She might find herself up a cloudy draw but if she has a phone, she can communicate with a similarly phone-equipped wrangler to alert him to chouse out a sneaky bull hiding in the brush. Suffice to say, Kathy loves her cell phone. She doesn't turn it off — ever. That way, even if she hasn't got it stashed on her person or in her purse or in the jockey box of her pickup, she'll still get messages on voice mail.
On this day, Kathy had been checking fences. A group of black Angus cows had taken unauthorized leave onto the county road. She found the gap. Angus cows are expert at converting a slightly sagging fence into a gate to the rest of the world where the grass is more delicious. Discovering the AWOL bovines, she and her trusty saddlehorse, Beauregard, commenced rounding them up. Teamwork pays off. Beau nudged the cattle homeward and into a different pasture.
Kathy then turned toward home along the half mile lane leading to the ranch. She pulled her cell phone from her saddle bag and called Tom, her life partner and fence fixer. She replaced said phone in the saddlebag … she thought. But when she unsaddled, the danged critter turned up missing. Kathy retraced the distance down the lane on shank's mare, searching, searching … Alas, nothing.
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In a glum mood, she returned to the house and plunked down on the couch. And yikes! … there, positioned at the right side of the couch — close to her right hand — there lay her cell phone! How could that be?
Gingerly, she picked up the electronic gismo. Now Kathy never turns her phone off. That way, when she can't find it, she can call the number from the landline and listen for a ring. But this phone had been turned off! (Eerie music playing in the background … oooOOOoooOOOooo …)
Conclusion: Someone found the phone, turned it off, entered the house and placed it there next to the couch. But who? Kathy browsed through the list of neighbors as possibilities. Neighbor five miles on the left — out of town. Neighbor seven miles on the right — ditto. Who else might be coming down her lane? The propane gas man? Naaaa … the gas man drove a big tanker truck. He wouldn't have noticed a weensy phone from way up in the truck cab.
A passing stranger? Naaaa … the lane dead ends at the ranch house. No one would be "passing by."
Maybe Tom? Naaa … he was out fixing the busted fence. Plus he'd driven past her as she rode home.
Her cowdog, Blue? Naaaa … there'd be slobber all over the phone. And how would Blue open the house door? He doesn't have opposable thumbs. And besides, he'd been in the truck with fence-fixing Tom.
A poltergeist? Naaaa … a poltergeist would throw stuff around making a big mess. It wouldn't have carefully laid the phone down.
Who? Who? Who? Or: What? What? What? The mystery remains, but Kathy isn't worried. Even though she ranches alone much of the time, she figures whoever or whatever means no harm. Look how helpful, he/she/it had been …
If you know anything about this, please call Kathy at oooOOOoooOOOooo … ❖