The Barbwire Bracelet

Some years back a feller asked me to go rope an ole cow for him that was, well let’s just say a tad goofy, and she had got some barbwire wrapped around her back foot. I loaded Red and drove across the Red River to find this ole hag in a plum thicket with her bracelet of barbwire wrapped tight and deep. I Built me a loop and road to her like we were carrying the mail. Now she didn’t act scared at all, in fact she was rather bold and came barreling at me just as I roped her.

It was just about this time that things got a little “western” as they say. She gave Red a hard horn to the flank and when he began to pitch a little she drove a horn right in his derriere (a little disrespectful, I thought)! Now y’all have heard me say I like a challenge and this was no different, but my gosh I like an even fight!

That barbwire bracelet she was wearing was dragging off her about ten feet and looked like  four porcupines as she slung it around. Ole Red just don’t like barbwire and hooking bovines at the same time. When I finally got her choked down, I cut that barbwire bird nest off, but the part around her hock was down in there deep. I made a corporate decision to take her by the vet clinic and use their squeeze chute to doctor her and then bring the lovely old lady back across the river and turn her out.

Dad used to work at the vet clinic in Hollis for years and Granville, our Vet, never minded I borrowed the chute. However, to my surprise, Granville was on vacation that day and a young lady was his temporary replacement. She was fresh out of Vet school and itching for some action. Now I don’t mean this disrespectful, but I think she had specialized in small animals (like guinea pigs and tea cup poodles), and Ole Spotty didn’t resemble anything small.

Ole Spotty

This young vet was having no part in me just running her through the chute, she wanted to do everything by the book and examine her. I told Miss Vet Spotty don’t like doctorin’ or kindness or exams. But after a dictionary full of big veterinarian words I gave in. I ran her down the chute, tied a leg up and waited for her to scrub in. You would have thought we were going to do open heart surgery the way she was going over text books and laying out instruments. And the longer  we waited the more hostile Spotty became. 

As we were finishing, a feller came out the door of the office, which emptied out right into the working area made of 3/4 inch plywood.  I told Miss Vet I would let the squeeze off Spotty’s head and back her down the chute  to the trailer.  She replied, “I can do it!” I’m no psychic, but I saw this wreck  fixin’ to happen.

I told that feller in the office, “I wouldn’t stand there, this ole goofy cow might get out and go the wrong way.” In a somewhat cocky tone he answered, “Now don’t you worry Son, I have been around wild cattle all of my life and she don’t bother me.”

Since I was obviously surrounded by people smarter than me, I gave up. Miss Vet pulled a Moses and opened the head gate wide enough to part the Red Sea.  As soon as Spotty saw the light of day- there she was greeting that feller in the new boots with those horns she was so proud of. But it just so happened that her aim was bad and she had pinned him right between her horns. Her head was close, but she was being held off by the plywood wall. Now this ain’t pleasant, but there was enough force and snot for Spotty to slide him up and down that slick wall.  

He did commence to holler and cuss quite a bit.  I’ve seen many a hooking take place and have had my share off them. And since there weren’t no blood or bones exposed, I thought this feller could use a hooking. His eyes were as big as a #12 washtub and he just kept screaming, “Get this damn cow off of me!” The only reply I could think at the time was, “Say Mister, you got a little something on your boots.”  

Well Ole Spotty finally got tired and gave him up. Nothing was broken on that feller except maybe his pride. I got her loaded, put Red in the trailer and told me Miss Vet, “Thank you ma’am for making me change my mind. I thought today was going to be a little boring, but that was a pretty good wreck and I didn’t even get a scratch.”

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