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

Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

Gentle readers, have you ever just had yer ego stomped on? You and me both, I suspect.

I was reading recently in Rodeo News an article written by one Crystal Lyons who writes a regular column in this paper. She was relating how she, at an earlier time in her life, was riding rough stock and had just ridden a bull at the National Finals Rodeo during the crowning of Miss Rodeo America.

She entered a little small rodeo in Arkansas where she thought she was going to be riding a bull. She wasn’t. She was to ride a little “doggin'” type steer. She thought that he was so small and skinny that he wouldn’t be able to buck a lick under her weight. She got down on him, he walked out of the chute and guess what? She FELL OFF!

Shawn Davis was a world champ bronc rider back in the 1960s. He was invited to go on a trail ride with a bunch of Boy Scouts who he could be a mentor and hero to. A short distance into the ride, his gentle horse bucked him off and broke his arm! What a revoltin’ development that was!

When I first started my cowboy career up at Amarillo, Texas, I was lookin’ after several hundred steers out on grass. I called my best friend down at Odessa, Texas, and invited him to come up and stay with us a few days and he could see what a “hand” I was makin’. (I have told this story before but it fits so good I just have to tell it again.) My friend arrived late one evening and we had a good meal and got in some good visiting. I could hardly wait to get a’horseback the next morning and do my thing.

Shortly after sunup and a good breakfast, we were prowlin’ the pastures lookin’ for sick cattle. After a couple of hours of ridin’ through the mesquite, up and down the coulees and around the windmills, we hadn’t found a single steer to rope. I was disheartened. Wait … what is this under that ole mesquite? A steer with pinkeye? Yes, yes, thank you God, thank you. Now I can show off a little.

I built a loop and rode gently up to the steer as he trotted off through the brush. I spurred my pony and we were on top of him. I tossed my twine and I MISSED! I gathered my rope, muttered some excuse and built to him again. I got right on him (as I was on an excellent cow horse) and mailed the nylon corral again. Again I MISSED.

Gentle readers I threw 11 more loops and missed every time. Finally the steer was plumb tuckered out, as was I and my poor hoss. The steer stopped and my buddy said, “Some cowboy you are ” I bet you can’t even drop a loop on his head with him standing still. I was humiliated and angry by then and my friend was right ” I tried to drop a loop around his head and he turned to look at me at the same time and the rope fell to the ground right beside him. He trotted off and I believe that it was the 15th loop I threw that I finally caught him.

Humiliated ” are you kiddin’ me? That was almost 40 years ago and my buddy still kids me about that incident any time I choose to get a little “puffed up.”

Children, we do have to have the ability to “laff” at ourselves, and we must if we are to enjoy our lives to the fullest.

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and I’ll c. ya.


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