The Banker’s cows

Tales from the ONO Ranch
Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

Long ago and far away, gentle readers, I was operating a small eight section ranch in the Texas Panhandle for an older feller that raised good Quarter Horses and ran some cows.

He didn’t live on the ranch that we were running, but had a horse operation some 40 or so miles away. He was a tough old hombre (64) and that was really old for me back then at 34 years of age. Most of my work was done a’horseback taking care of 120 cows and 50 something yearlings.

He called me one evening and told me to be at his banker’s place, some 50 miles away with a good horse as we were going to help his banker gather and work his cows and calves. You need to understand down in Texas, every banker, lawyer, preacher and car dealership owner wears boots, sometimes a cowboy hat and wants to be a cowboy. Many of them have smaller ranches or places where they can play cowboy with their friends on occasion. With that said, I will tell you that this little Pillsbury banker got all duded up and was ready for his time in the saddle workin’ his cows.

It was a hot August day by the time I arrived at the bankers. He only had about 20-something pairs the best I remember so it didn’t take but a short time to run them in the corrals and separate the calves from their mommas. Now I gotta’ tell ya these calves were big and fat and soggy and I wasn’t looking forward to having to wrestle them. The rancher’s son, about my age and myself had that duty. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the banker hadn’t decided to do the roping instead of my boss, who was an excellent roper.

“If you have ever flanked calves you know how hard it is to take one down that’s big and fat and has a rope around his neck instead of being drug by his hind legs.”

Nope, not a chance. The banker wallered his horse around the calves and roped them by the neck if he roped them at all. If you have ever flanked calves you know how hard it is to take one down that’s big and fat and has a rope around his neck instead of being drug by his hind legs. These calves weighed between 350 and 400 pounds and it didn’t take long for the owner’s son and myself to be suckin’ air and sweatin’ like a lawyer in church. The old overweight banker would let out a war whoop every time he got one roped. Before we got them all worked I was almost used up. My boss was a little embarrassed that he had to put us through that ordeal but ya gotta’ take care of your banker if you want him to take care of you!

When I got back to the ranch I put my pony up and I was done for the rest of the day. I didn’t have enough energy to pet the dog or so it seemed. I came across a little quote from the late John Wayne. He was qouted that, “life is tough, but it’s tougher if you are stupid.” I’d like to send that to that feller in Washington by the name of Adam Shiftless who is running the impeachment hearings!

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, remember, when you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on, and I’ll c. y’all, all y’all. ❖