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

Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

I was astonished the other day to hear of a recent survey taken of high school-age kids as to how they felt about cheating and lying and did they, themselves, partake in one or both on a regular basis? Did you know, gentle readers that a little over 64 percent of them answered to the positive? Yes, they had lied and cheated on numerous occasions.

Isn’t that what you are supposed to do in this world to get and stay ahead of the game? Well, why wouldn’t they feel that way when we have presidents both past and present that have set examples for them? Of course there are the school teachers, pastors, professional athletes, politicians and all sorts of folks that are in leadership positions that are expected to set the right examples for our youth and there are some in each group that have failed miserably.

I worked for an old-time rancher years ago when I first started my cowboy career. He gave me the responsibility of running a small ranch for him while he concentrated on his Quarter Horse business. It wasn’t a big outfit. A hundred and fifty cows or so and a couple hundred yearlings through the summer months and no farming to speak of. It was a good little ranch and a good starter ranch for me to improve my skills as a cowboy and a cowman.

I worked hard. I was a’horseback all the time as he didn’t like for me to use a pickup to get around the ranch, even to feed in the winter months. I would ride to all the different pastures and put out cake for the cows in that pasture “all done a’horseback in some mighty cold weather.

He promised me that I could pick out two steers of my choosing as a bonus when it came time to ship them off the ranch. I could keep them there to get them bigger, or I could ship them with the others and receive the average pay that the whole lot brought when sold. Shipping time came and went and he never offered to let me pick out my two steers nor did I receive any payment for two steers.

Disgusted, I found another job ” a really good job with lots of responsibility and good wages and benefits. After I relocated, I received a phone bill of some $36 that he wanted me to pay him for and yes, I did run up a phone bill of long distance call for 36 bucks. I sat down and sent him a note asking him to just deduct the 36 bucks from what I should have received for the two steers that I was promised and send me the balance. I never heard from him again.

Yes, there are liars and cheaters in the ranching business, the farming business, the horse business and in all kinds of businesses. We like to hope that cowboys and men of the soil and especially cattlemen go by “my word is my bond.” Most cowboys and cowmen I have ever met were the best ever, and if they told you something, you could take it to the bank.

I cannot fault our young folks for havin’ the attitudes that some of them have. We taught them everything we know and they watched and listened.

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


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