Tales from the O-NO Ranch 9-7-09 | TheFencePost.com
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Tales from the O-NO Ranch 9-7-09

Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

We all have been and I reckon still are curious about different things as we go through life … right?

Sure we are.

And that curiosity more than likely has created problems for us from time to time. I remember being curious to know if I could step in front of my dad as another feller threw him a fast pitch with a softball, and catch it successfully in my little ball glove. I couldn’t. Nope, it went into my glove and then into my nose and put my little butt on the ground with a bloody mouth and nose and tears like you wouldn’t believe.

A few nights ago I was sound asleep with the bedroom window wide open on a still, warm summer night. My ol’ faithful dog, Clancy, aka, Buckwheat, was asleep right under the window by his food dish. I awoke when he loudly barked once and then let out some of the most terror filled yelps that I have ever heard. I don’t know how I made it past the ceiling fan to cling to the ceiling, and then peel myself off to run to the window and see if I could determine who or what was in the fight with my dog. It was a terrible fight in progress and my first thought was several coyotes had grabbed him and he was fighting for his life. I screamed out the open window, “Get away, git, git!”

I looked down to see Clancy laying against the house and whimpering. I ran to the gun case and grabbed the closest gun, a 22 rifle, picked up a flashlight and out the back door I went to defend my dog. After I stepped off the deck the thought occurred to me if it could be a lion as Clancy was nowhere in sight and lions are not totally uncommon in our area.

Ah … Clancy appears in the dim light of my flashlight and seems to be OK and very excited. He runs over to a young cottonwood tree and looks up as if to tell me, “It’s up there somewhere!”

I shine my light up in the tree but can find nothing. He then runs to the front yard and looks up into a pine tree. I again shine my light and find nothing. I have decided that more than likely a raccoon got curious and tried to get a free night time snack and created all this excitement. I went back to bed and on occasion I would hear Buckwheat growl deeply and determined.

The next morning, I went out and found a young raccoon up in the cottonwood tree and he looked pretty chewed up. I put the dog in a pen and went in the house to see if the coon would come down and go on his way as I really didn’t want to shoot him. He would not come down, I think because he was badly hurt and was afraid the dog would appear and finish him off. I got him down and took him to the pasture and left him.

I filled the water tubs for the steers and fed the horses and sat down on the back deck with my morning coffee. I watched as the steers came in single file from down on the bottom to drink. As they approached the raccoon, one steer broke out of the bunch and ran up to the corpse and began to beller in his loudest voice. Cattle are really curious. Here came the rest of the bunch and they surrounded the dead raccoon and blew, snorted and bellered like you would not believe. It looked like something you would see in one of those old Gary Larson cartoons he called “The Far Side.” I reckon those ol’ steers paid their last respects to Mr. Coon and had a prayer vigil for him. They have continued to stop by each and every time they come to water just to check on him. Curious and strange to say the least. Folks are sort of funny in the same way as we want the front of the line, the middle of the road and the back pew in the church.

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


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