Posted 12-24-2003 at 03:50:44
[Reply] [No Email]
Jake's been pestering me to buy him a lasso. Claims he can rope a pig. I just laughed at him.
"Son, it's impossible. Look at the way their heads are shaped. Like a cone. The rope won't set. It'll slide down his neck, and over his head, and off the end of his nose. It would be like trying to rope a torpedo." I know this, because I have tried to lead one using a rope, and that's exactly what happened every time.
Nothing had occured to change my opinion when Ricardo showed up yesterday wanting a hundred and fifty pound hog for a bar-b-que.
"You'll have to come back," I told him, "I've got the pig, but he's runnning loose in the pasture, it may take me hours to bait him into a pen so that we can catch him."
He squinted at me over his Ray-Bans, and then shrugged.
"I catch heem." He said simply.
He rattled off something in spanish to the fellow he brought with him, and he ran to the truck and retrieved a thirty foot length of what appeared to be ski rope and brought it to Ricardo. Trying to be diplomatic, I hid a grin behind my hand, and stepped up my efforts to bait the pigs into the loading chute.
The plan was to dump feed into the chute, allow all the pigs to enter and then evict them one by one, until a good candidate for the sale was left alone in the chute. It's a tried and true method, but takes time. Right after Ricardo sent his buddy for the rope, I sent Jill for feed.
"I cash de peeg." Ricardo insisted again, grinning.
Yeah, well, whatever. Okay.
He clearly had only a tentative grasp on English, so I didn't bother to explain that he was wasting his time. Everybody knows that you can't lasso a pig. Everybody except Ricardo apparently.
I was already slightly irked with the guy. He showed up with no notice, demanding a sizable pig, right now, and once it became clear to me that he did not intend to leave without one, I resigned myself to the fact that the situation could easily work itself into a pig nightmare. Especially since he had shown up dressed to the nines in white pants, a pale blue western shirt, and what appeared to be ostrich western boots. The guy came to buy a pig, and didn't look like he planned on gettin' dirty, which did not bode well for me. I figured I was in the whole deal by myself, which made me even more determined to do it my way.
"Whish wan you wanna me buy?" Ricardo asked, making an increasingly larger loop in his rope, standing there, one hip jutted out, his sunglasses perched on the end of his nose, still gazing at me over the top of them.
"That one..." I waved my hand indifferently at a half grown barrow, and collected the bucket of feed from Jill as she handed it over the pasture fence.
I went on about my business. Dumped the feed into the chute feeder, and then busied myself with trying to keep my feet out from under some three hundred plus thundering hooves. Suddenly I heard...
...whoop...whoop...whoop....and then the hiss of the rope as it sailed through the air.
Ricardo's half pint sized buddy was jumping up and down clapping his hands like a four year old kid at the circus.
I turned just in time to see the loop settle over the pig's shoulders, see him step through it, watched it slide down over his hips and down his rear legs and predictably... land in the dirt behind him.
"Huh." I said. Who'da thought that would happen.
I leaned against the fence post to watch as Ricardo readied his rope for a second attempt, wondering how many times he was going to try this before he would give up. I glanced at my watch, and sighed.
The pig ran a large circle around us and then came back, drawn by the promise of the feed in the chute, but would not enter the chute. He stood at the opening, aware now that he was the target, and reluctant to do anything that might contribute to his capture.
The rope snaked through the air again, this time settling right down around the pig's neck. Ricardo's sidekick's jumping and clapping routine went into over drive, and he was babbling something excitedly in spanish and while I didn't understand the words the meaning was clear.
"You did it, you son of a *&!!! You did it!"
Apparently I wasn't the only one who had been slightly pessimistic about Ricardo's pig catching methods. The pig went to squalling and whipping his head back and forth, but much to my amazement, appeared to be well and thoroughly caught.
This is where I began to understand Ricardo's choice of attire. He had done his part. He merely kept pressure on the rope while the sidekick jumped the fence, scurried over to the pig, legged it and flipped it on it's side. It all happened so fast that I stood there with my mouth hanging open and really didn't know what to do until Ricardo gave me one of those...'well?' looks.
"Oh!" Wake up Cindi.
I snatched the three foot length of clothesline rope from my back pocket and straddled the pig, and while he bucked and thrashed I tied his two front feet together, then tied his two back feet together and using the balance of the rope I tied the two pairs of feet together in the middle. Then I stood up, and we all watched as the pig struggled to get his feet loose, but the ropes held and he finally sighed and gave up, his sides heaving from the effort.
"How...I mean....how...?" I stammered, and Ricardo smiled.
"De rrrrrope mus' be....how you say...." He fingered the rope, holding it up for my inspection..."uh....clot? You know....clot!"
"Si! Yes! Mus' be clot. So it will...." he made a fist, and a 'clamping down' gesture.
"Grip! So that it will grip!"
Okay, close enough.
I watched Ricardo gingerly dust off his hands, climb into his truck and drive away. My father-in-law who is visiting from Texas, was sitting in a lawn chair watching this event, and having never seen such a transaction was thoroughly impressed. But with the wrong part.
"Girl...you art to git yerself into one of them there rodeos!"
"No." I laughed. "Not me...HIM!" I pointed at the truck as it disappeared up the road. "And now I have to to get cleaned up and go to town for a last minute Christmas gift."
"Oh yeah? Who fer?"
"Jake. He's been pestering me for a lasso. This year...he gets one."