Equal opportunity cowboy
Baxter Black, DVM
Betty Lynne is a cowboy. If you don’t believe it ask her husband to show you the snapshot of her bruise.
Last summer they had a cow killed by lightening on their ranch. They figgered they’d better bring in the orphaned calf. The afternoon of the rescue, Betty Lynne saddled ol’ Frosty, a reliable ex-Appaloosa race horse. That allowed Sean, her husband, to ride T-Bird, one of the colts they were training.
They trailered to the pasture. Sean stayed outside the bunch, practicin’ quarter circles and slides, while Betty Lynne searched for the little black heifer calf they knew to be the dogie. She spotted the calf and eased up. She missed the easy shot. The calf was wild as a deer and evaded loop after loop as Betty Lynne and Frosty chased her back and forth across the Montana horizon.
Frosty was losing patience and Betty Lynne was frustrated. As she said, she never claimed to be a header and has always been envious of men who are not hampered by fallen bra straps while in hot pursuit of a critter. “Messes up yer swing,” she says.
At last she’d lined up on a decent shot and let sail a pretty loop. Suddenly aware of the drama unfolding in front of her, the biggest, fattest cow in the county looked up from her grazing and stuck her head square in the loop!
The calf ran off (snickering, no doubt), the cow spooked and Betty Lynne lost her dally. The cow ran off after the calf.
Sean hurried to help, handed her his rope, and with a straight face, suggested she heel the cow and he’d run up and get her rope back.
Off she went, determined. It’s not easy to run up on a critter who’s draggin’ a rope behind her like a swishin’ snake. But Betty Lynne got close enough to double hock the cow. Just as she grabbed her dally, the tail of the snake brushed Frosty’s feet. He blew up and left the ground! They were 4 feet off the ground when the cow, all 1,200 pounds of her, hit the end of the line. It was like bein’ hit by a train. Frosty went sailing sideways. Betty Lynne bucked into orbit. On her descent, Frosty kicked Betty Lynne in midair, flipped her over and she landed in a sitting position. Just right to see the rest of the wreck.
Sean had just stepped off T-Bird to go for the rope. T-Bird spun across him, stepped on his foot and followed Frosty back toward the barn.
The happy couple lay ironed out in the grass and watched the cow, who had kicked out one heel, headed east draggin’ both their ropes.
Although I’ve not seen the bruise, or the photo, Betty Lynne said it showed the accurate outline of the hoof wall, complete with frog. Somehow, I believe her. ❖