The last of the cow stories…..
So, after Nemo……there were the Holstein calves (they’re black/white), one was butchered, the rest were sold…..they were replaced by 2 registered Hereford’s (brown/white). I give the coloring for you city dwellers, Holsteins are primarily diary, Herefords are beef cattle.
The Hereford’s were not content on the Griggs Ranch compared to the previous cattle. Not long after arriving, and not having knowledge or experience with electrified fencing, they chose to explore the surrounding lands… (go west young cow)
It was summer, so there wasn’t any just walking around the hillside looking for the water tank…they left from the water tank, in the bottoms…. it wasn’t’ too disconcerting, however, we were on Hog Point, bordered by two rivers, containment seemed certain…I followed the tracks toward the river….along the bank…how long had they been loose, a day or two?
I had a small boat, wooden, and for some reason decided to use it to scout the river bank. The boat was launched, at least a quarter mile upstream from the first cow tracks…down stream I went. I don’t recall having a motor on the boat and the time.
About 500 feet beyond where I first saw the tracks along the river, I saw the two cows….WAIT…..why were they standing the MIDDLE of the river?
Oh, no a swallow place, no more than knee-deep, that’s knee-deep on the cow… I was at least 100 feet away…..drifting toward them….here I was in a boat, looking at two cows standing in the river, looking back at me……..I YELLED…………. COW!!! (Cow??? If this had been Nemo, she would have run toward me, I could have tied her to the boat, and she would have pulled me up-stream) As it was, these cows, took one look at me and boat, and fled, no, no, not toward the bank from which they had come…but to new lands, to the right, westward, which today is State Park………… Oh, such madness, such sadness. If I couldn’t stop them in a boat, how was going to find them now. The only alternative was to row back and call in reinforcements. Row back??? Up Stream, it was an arduous task, but since the cows had already escaped the confines of Hog Point, there was no need to rush…. Once home, I reported in and conveyed my information.
Apparently dad then alerted people on that side of the river to watch for missing cattle…Days later, Dr. Franklin had one pinned up with his cattle….he owned property which is now State Park ground, behind the Cemetery. Later we got a call from another farmer that he had the other one…
Now, Earl’s place was located next to what is now the Golf Course, what was the farm is now the entrance to some fairly nice housing. Actually Mrs Earl owned the farm, Mr. Earl was her second husband. If you can imagine a two story 1920’s farm house, which probably had not been painted since 1940, era stuff sitting all around and a dozen kids dressed like they were still living in the 30’s; that’s the Earl place.
Dad and I drove over to the Earl’s on Saturday morning…sure enough there was the second cow, in the field, across the road from the their house. Sure, Earl said we can get her.
I KID YOU NOT, this is the picture, Earl had an early 40’s flat-bed truck with slatted sides, a couple of the little kids climbed in back…dad and I got in the cab. One of the kids, about 13, climbed in behind the wheel!! Now this was an old truck, it had fenders, with a tear-drop shaped head light on each fender. Mr Earl grabbed a rope and climbed up on the right fender, straddling the headlight. Another of the kids, crossed the road, opened the gate and we drove through into the field. We drove toward the cow, who began to run, we drove faster, Earl began swinging the rope/lasso over his head………………….the cow turned left, we turned left, it dodged right so did we, just close enough to get it lassoed….
Now, as I’ve seen, in most rodeo’s the cowboy, lassoes the calf, ties the end of the rope to saddle horn, the horse stops, the cowboy jumps off, flips the calf down ties it legs, 17 seconds, hands in the air, points score, were all done… That’s mostly what happened here….Mr Earl lassoes the calf, the kid hits the break the truck stops on a dime…but………it was less than 17 seconds, more like a 2 seconds……..there was no saddle horn…..the cow doesn’t stop………….Mr.Earl is flying through the air, hanging on to the rope, ———-the sight was Mr. Earl,,,,,no hat…..white holy t-shirt…..flying through the air……hits the ground…but still hanging on!!! I’m thinking, we may actually have him!! We?? I guess those are big words for someone riding in the cab…..in about 75 feet, Mr. Earl lets go….stands up, that white raggedity holy t-shirt with wet green streaks all the way from chin to belt buckle, he had been drug through half a dozen fresh cow pies..
Cow Pie’s?? Do city dwellers understand Cow Pie?
Mr. Earl stands up, walks back and says to dad and I, you guys go on home, we’ll get her later and let you know. Sure enough the next day, they had the cow….how??? do not know, didn’t ask.. I’m just glad I didn’t go cow pie sliding.
The next project at the Griggs Ranch entailed learning to the drive fence posts in a straight line and “stretching” barbed wire….