Tales from the O-NO Ranch 10-18-10 | TheFencePost.com

Tales from the O-NO Ranch 10-18-10

Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

Is seeing really believing anymore, gentle readers? I don’t think so Tim. Not with all this new computer imaging that’s available today. I have stated many times before that I am off in the ditch on the information highway. I know very little about computers or what you can do with all this new technology before us.

I see the commercial where all the animals at the water hole in Africa come to drink and play together. You know where the lamb lies down with the lion. Little furry creatures ride on the backs of crocs. It looks so real and natural. It all looks so believable. I know that it just can’t be but I’m still at a loss to know how you can create any thing or any type of person or animal with the right knowledge. I feel inadequate.

There was a couple of times that I didn’t feel so inadequate when seeing was really believing and I along with some others didn’t believe what had just happened.

My first real cowboy job was on a big historic ranch North of Amarillo, Texas. I along with the cowboy crew were out early one morning gathering a large pasture to spray the cows to keep the fly population down. As we approached the pens with the cattle after a fairly long drive, one little calf broke away from his momma and headed back to where he had come from.

“Hanks, go rope that calf and bring him back!” shouted the cow boss.

Panic overtook me as I turned my horse and jerked down my rope. He knows I can’t rope worth a flip, maybe this is my way of getting introduced to what a real cowboy has to face. I put the irons to my pony and we poked a hole in the wind as we were almost on top of the calf in 50 yards or so. That good cow pony put me right on top of that duckin’ and dodgin’ little bugger. I knew the whole crew would be watching as I threw my loop.

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“What’s this? I caught ’em! I actually caught him!”

I quickly relaxed, got the calf out in front of my hoss and headed to the pens as if I had done this all my life.

There was that other time when I went to work for a crusty ol’ rancher who was as tough as they come and a throw back to yesteryear. I was hired to operate a small cow-calf and steer operation some 75 miles east of Amarillo. He had a quarterhorse operation some 30 miles down the road that he wanted to concentrate on as his son was his partner in the business. He sent his son over the day after we moved in and he had me jump a horse in a trailer and he hauled me over to a neighbor’s pasture to catch one of our cows that had jumped the fence. We found the cow and he told me to unload my pony and go rope the spooky ol’ cow. I have to tell ya that I was gettin’ really nervous when I pulled my cinch and stepped up on my horse.

This country was haired over (brushy) and this ol’ cow was about as silly as a bunch quittin’ cow can be and I also knew this was a test to see if I could handle the job. I got about as close to the ol’ sister as I could before we hit a wide open run through the brush. I reached out and put that nylon corral right on her neck. What? I caught her the first loop. “I don’t believe it” I was thinking. I knew I had maybe surprised the ol’ kid in the pickup like I surprised the cowboy crew up at Amarillo that early summer morning. I know I surprised myself and just couldn’t believe what I had just seen and done. I’m not a first looper, never have been and don’t reckon I ever will be, not in the big pasture anyway!

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and don’t believe everything you see. c. ya.