Setting here gathering energy lost from a long day yesterday and decided to tell this story.
When Chance was about 17 or so, he went to doctor a yearling heifer. At the time he was thinking tripping them was real cool so was practicing it at every chance he got. He found a heifer who needed a shot, pulled his horn knot down and took to her on Kid, the horse Illinios Rancher got from us. Kid may not be the fastest horse (as Saddle Tramp will attest to ) but he was rock solid. Chance gets this little lady necked, turns off and discovers that he maybe should have snugged up his cinch a bit more!
Saddle turns quite a bit and ends up in Kid’s flanks and Chance is trying to get the knot off the horn while Kid stands there all humped up like the ol’ cow in Charlie Russel’s first famous painting. He gets the knot off and the heifer moves out into a shallow dam. Chance gets the saddle reset and tries to recover the rope or drove the heifer out but he can’t get in there very handy with Kid as the bottom is pretty muddy. Like any good cowboy would, he studies on the situation, notices the old jon boat lying there on the shore and the light bulb clicks on.
He hobbles Kid, gets the boat in the water and builds to the heifer. She is not impressed with him and continues imitating a whale or duck or whatever water creature you like, so he proceeds to ram her with the front of the boat until he agitates her enough that she leaves her watery home and heads for dry land. Chance beaches his vessel and get on his horse, finds him a stick, runs up and uses the stick to pick up the trailing rope, dallies up and the heifer gets doctored.
Fast forward to a week ago or so. Chance is working on a ranch on the banks of a flat little river with a lot of gumbo on and around it. They take on all this rain and the river comes up and they have a bunch of stranded ewes, still in the wool, on an island. The boss has a friend in town who brings out a boat and he and said friend launch the boat upstream from the sheep with the intent of trying to load them in the boat and ferry them to shore in some way. But when the sheep see the boat they sell out and most swim for shore and make it. All but one or two who are less scared of boats and men or are just more waterlogged. But now the boat is about 600 yards down stream and they don’t want to have to try and paddle it back up against the current. Chance gives them the end of the rope on his saddle. He is riding Jake who is nervously watching all this and then Chance heads out up stream, on the bank and Jake don’t want nothin’ to do with pulling boats so the trip is real rapid. Tho’ reluctant about it, Jake is a boat pulling SOB! Right up over the top of a steep hill and back to the original starting point of the boating adventure.
They get the boat back up stream and the sheep are rescued.
Couple days later another hired hand, in another camp, calls Chance and tells him they have some bucks out on an island and they need the boat, is there any way Chance can get it to them? We are talking 3 miles of water soaked gumbo just to get out to the main road, on a straight line, but Chance hooks on to the boat, again on Jake, and is figuring that he is going to have a real tired horse when/if they get to the highway. But….he forgot about that wet gumbo and the fact that boats float and slide real well on it very easily!
So he and Jake go merrily on their way out to meet the other guy at the highway. Chance gets there first and here comes a car along and stops to watch a cowboy pulling a boat on muddy ground, a fair ways away from any big river, looks like.
Car stops, lady gets out and with a strong eastern accent asks Chance why on earth he is pulling that boat with a horse? Chance said, “I am not real sure why I said it, but I just told her, “Well hell, I’m going fishing!”
When talking about this yesterday, several better one liners came up, with the crew I was with and the best one was, “Well hell, we are water skiing………..What the hell? I lost the skier again??!!”