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Vacation Part Three.
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Fern(Mi)    Posted 05-03-2004 at 12:21:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
“There they are!” Clink said with all the confidence of a person knowing where she was going.
“They they are!” I agreed letting the suburban and its tow roll to an easy stop.
“Where’s the house?” Clink wanted to know looking all about us, scanning the open country from the knoll we had stopped on.
“About eleven more miles from here!”
“Eleven Miles?” she questioned. “That’s a long ways to get the mail everyday.” she reasoned.
“Not to bad.” I assured her. “The mail comes every Thursday unless there’s a storm. And if there’s a storm to stop it may be announced over the if it’s working.”
“Where are we?” she worriedly asked. As if she had something to worry about, and she worried for the seven kids in the back seats. And, of course a kid picks up on Frieda’s distress, and asks, “Are we still having fun, Dad?” How do they know? Kids?
Turning left onto one of the five tracks, just short of straight ahead of the collectively gathered tracks staring on this mound of mailboxes, the kids are enjoying some impromptu antelope racing our advancement. And, there were plenty of jack rabbits. The next few miles we saw nary a cow or sheep. Seamed unimaginable as close as we were coming to this particular ranch complex. A twist in the tracks, a slow turn one way and back making the grades easier we finally crown one last roll of the land. Straight a head and below us laid a wide ravine. That’s what it been back in Michigan. Out here a it was a creek bottom with a stream running through it, trees lined along the shores and some situated out toward the steeper banks. In the middle of the cottonwood tree foliage could be seen roofs of several buildings. “This has got to be it?” Frieda expounded, “And, look at the cattle.” I looked and right away I knew something was a miss.
Having come to far this day, there was no turning back. I forged ahead just as if I knew what I was doing. Braking the hill side towards the ranch yard I drove us past several riders driving a herd of bulls. We rumbled over a bridge, pulled left under an old transplanted Maple tree who’s branches shaded three buildings and a good share of the yard. Stopping the vehicle I shouted at the kids, “Stay in the truck, no if ands or buts. This place is having its share of trouble right now. These cowboys don’t need any more trouble without a bunch of strange kids getting under foot.” And, rolling out my door, I stress further, “You can watch from inside the truck!!!”
No horse for my added weight in the situation I figured I could do something else. Reaching the bridge, I shouted out, “What can I do to help?”
“Get me some bolt cutters from the blacksmith shop.” the cattleman had yelled, while understanding his message I turned and ran the other way. Why did that shop have to be the last building way down there, at the other end, if this were a street? No problem, boltcutters hung on a nail to the left. Still on the run I grabbed them still maintaining my rendition of a full out run. How I had wished this place was closer to sea level I’m not sure.
Seeing me coming he dismounted almost without a word while taking the bolt cutters from my hand, same time handing me his mounts reins, uttering a mere “Here!” I walked the horse back across the bridge leading him to quieter ground, when Linda the rancher’s wife demanded I find wire. Here, I handed the reins off to Frieda extracting her from the suburban. “Hang on to him.” I told her, “I’ll be back!” and ran off again for the blacksmiths shop, hoping I would find the wire there?
Wire found and delivered with pliers I saw laying out while I was at it. The bulls were finally contained in an old elk enclosure. This was on the opposite side of the creek from us and where they were supposed to be. I felt my part unfulfilled. Getting back to Frieda she was calmly near beside herself, the horse having gone down once or twice, herself demanding he get right back up, informed of her situation. Then with guts, I asked of her, “Find me some hot water and towels and bring them to the stable.”
“Where will I get them?“ she asked, looking about, wondering which way to go?
“From the laundry house.“ I pointed. If nothing there, Go to house and get what I need.“
“Okay!“ she agreed, dashing away as I encouraged the horse to take just one more step.
Having checked our kids. Making them keep their seats the older ones in charge the younger ones, by an by, Frieda brought the water hot and towels. “Now I need a couple heavy blankets.” I told her thanklessly, “From back at the house.”
“I was never in the house.”
“Well, get them anyway. Strip them off a couple beds if you have to.” I hollered. Well, Reasonably hollered I might have thought?
Hot towels about the animals legs, towels over his neck, I started rubbing down what wasn’t covered. Thankfully Frieda arrived with the blankets. “A cowboy gave them to me.” she offered. “From out of the bunk house.” she finished.
“Now, take a breather and check the kids. I think they can get out of the truck now. They should be safe.” And, she was gone.
A couple hands came in unsaddled and started rubbing their mounts down. I was no longer alone. But it was still hardly an atmosphere of hellos and/or how are ya’s. The blankets dipped in the hot water did their jobs. Anything I could cover, bought me time to carefully rub out the entire horse. Must have been an hour before Randy (the rancher) caught up with me, just about the same time I was finishing up drying this horse down wringing out the towels. “Where’s Linda’s horse?” I asked him seeing him coming.
”One of the hands has taken care of him.” He answered, and added, looking upon my efforts. “An hour ago this horse was going to be a dead animal. You saved him, Foot. How did you know what to do?”
“I didn’t.” I told him honestly. “Might say, my common sense told me I needed to do this. He was hot. I had to keep him that way to slow down his cooling off. I guess I was afraid he would cramp up and die.”
“I owe you big time my friend. You literally brought that horse back from the dead.” He lavished his praise. “You did everything right!“ Praise once said out here, most likely would never be repeated. “I think I owe you at least a beer.”
“Ah? How would it be we trade.” Trade hell! I’m buying.”
Seeing I wasn’t going to get anywhere this evening, I'd drink his Coor's. The Bud in the suburban could wait until the morrow. And, an owed thank you to my favorite girl would have to wait until after the Hello Party Time was over.
All the kids maling fast friends didthe chores before turning in. The girls slumber partying in the hose, the boys bunked where? in the bunk house. Which left this well worn couple only a couple babies to worry about, and all of them fast asleep. We Partied till breakfast.

DD    Posted 05-04-2004 at 15:29:20       [Reply]  [No Email]
Good Story Fern, Sorry I'm so late in getting to read it ; )

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