Been a sad week around here. A friend from down in Nebraska had a young son injured in a car wreck. He was thrown clear and had injuries, the worse being to his brain. They life flighted him to Omaha and had been having good luck getting him revived and fixed for about a month. He had been up and walking about and was complaining of having to stay in a hospital but yet stayed cheerful as best he could.

He had something still not quite right in his brain, so they put him into a medically induced coma, to go back in and fix it. But when they got the scan back, he had suffered an irreversible stroke. Nothing they can do for this good young cowboy. The family has decided that they are going to donate to help others who have had misfortune. Latest news was they had found a heart and lung recipient that matched.

What a terrible thing for a family to lose a young child. My heart goes out to them and I and many others have been praying for this child and family. If you feel you should, they can use them all. God knows who we are praying for.

Then we had an older cowboy pass away. Knew him most of my life. When I was young he was known as someone who would start bronc, didn’t matter how tough the horse was. After a wife and child came along, his wife made him swear off. But he passed on his knowledge of colts to two sons. 

His funeral was truly a celebration of life. Many great remembrances of him. It helped that one of the pastors had known him for years and was a friend. 

I remember hearing of him working for a local ranch that raised horses. He was breaking colts. He would tie one bronc to another ones tail, ride the one in front and head out. When he came back later in the day, he would be riding the back horse, who he had switched to the front and saddled somewhere out in the big wide open. It wasn’t Ray Hunt style, but I bet he got them sacked out good!

One day we had gathered cattle out of the breaks, up  on top to brand. We penned them in a set of portable corrals. As most cattle people know, cattle tend to sort back the best, out of the same gate they came in. That is normal operating procedure. Evidently no one had explained that to this bunch! 

We tried sorting cows back off from their calves out of the gate they came in, but it wasn’t working at all. So we went to the opposite end and tried sorting that way. It didn’t work any better. 

So in exasperation we opened the pen up on the side and started trying to get them out that way. About then, this cowboy I am talking about showed up to help. Just drove in without a horse. Walked up and went to helping. Pretty soon he was in the gate, afoot, and things started to improve. I had taken off my jacket and passed it to him and he used it like a matador would his cape, so to speak. When a calf was coming for the opening, he could stop it with a slight movement of the jacket, while cows went on by. He slipped and slid from side to side, much like a good dancer. It was wonderful to watch.

In hindsight, now, I realize he really understood cattle and how they worked. He knew when a calf was going to stop and let his mother leave him and when he had to stop it. Beautiful!

Few who do not work around cattle and many who do, have no idea how someone who can read stock like that can make life easier for the cattle and the crew. I often think of that day whenever I am involved with sorting cattle.

So, as I go about this week, I will think fondly of Ronnie and that little cowboy who is giving so much to help other. May God bless him and his family.

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