Hanks: If ya ain’t hurt, it’s funny
Gentle readers, I’m sure most of you have watched America’s Funniest Videos at one time or another. I have often wondered how many of those folks captured doing, “hey y’all, watch this!” actually came out of their little production unscathed?
I know there have been many times when that kid on a skateboard riding it down a railing of some sort wound up riding that ramp like a saddle. Whoa! “Man, I’m thinking, that had to hurt!”
But we sometimes just don’t know what the final outcome was. We just cringe and wonder if they survived without serious injury, but just the same, we “laffed!” We “laffed” because it was funny.
Cowboys have always had this thing about having’ a need to play a prank on another unsuspecting cowboy or maybe the cook. In my case it was on me, the boss! We were penning some steers and as we approached the pens there was this old rusty water tub dumped upside down in the weeds.
I was riding a bronc and one of my newly hired cowboys rode up beside me, removed his hat and threw it at this “spooky” bronc’s head as he was undecided if the tub was a “bugger” or not. Fortunately for me I was sitting in a deep saddle with buckin’ rolls and my boots were firmly planted in oxbow stirrups.
The bronc jumped sideways when the hat bounced off the top of his head, but I stayed, fortunately, in the saddle.
The cowboy “laffed” but he was the only one. “Pard, unless you want to be walkin’ down the road kickin’ stones tomorrow, you won’t ever do that to me or anyone else, sav’vy?” I asked. He meekly replied, “yessir” as he leaned off of his horse to retrieve his hat.
There are enough accidents involving horses that turn out to be fatal without pushing the envelope. Recently one of my neighbor ladies was riding with a friend out in the boonies far from any help when her horse just fell with her for no reason.
She was pinned underneath and perished before help could arrive. Her horse apparently had a heart attack! I spoke at a cattleman’s banquet up in the mountains and a feller there was tellin’ me about this brother who recently had been killed while riding a pony that could be unpredictable.
His brother up in his 60s had been a life long cowboy and rancher and just happened to like this particular horse. The horse ran off with him as I remember and into a “bob” wire fence flipping over and killing his rider.
Cowboys are not gonna’ change. We are who we are and what we are and will do is just bow our necks and do whatever it is we set out to do. I reckon it’s just the cowboy way and has always been like that. I have been bucked off and hurt, no laughing, and I have had horses fall with me, not being hurt but bringing out the “laff.”
I have discovered as I have aged I just can’t do all the things that I used to do and enjoy them as in the past. I have struggled at times getting things done just because I felt it was expected of me but am learning to take less chances than in the past.
Cowboy fun will always be cowboy fun and be part of who cowboys are. Lets all hope that the good ones survive!
Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, don’t lean off that hoss to retrieve yer hat unless yer ridin’ a Shetland! I’ll c. y’all, all y’all. ❖
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