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  Texas : Features : Columns : "It's All Trew"

Cowboys:
Stand-up comedians for the Lord

by Delbert Trew
Delbert Trew
Few occupations experience everyday hazards quite like that of the cowboy.

There's something about being out in the boondocks tending livestock that draws trouble like a lightning rod draws strikes. Some adhere to a theory that God made cowboys and their cowboy way of life just so he could enjoy an occasional laugh himself.

Old Tom was known for being tight with his money and started replacing rusted water tanks with huge, used equipment tires he bought at the Army Surplus Store. The top could be removed with a sharp knife, then scoot the remainder under the lead pipe of the windmill, spread black plastic sheeting in the bottom and bingo, he had a cheap, rustproof water tank for cattle.

Tom discovered an added bonus of bumping the rubber tire with his pickup during cold weather, which broke up the ice inside, saving ax work on his part.

He came into the coffee shop one morning with black eyes, sore nose and bleeding lips. It seemed he had approached the rubber tank a little too fast and his wheels slid on the frozen ground. When he hit the tank, his air-bag exploded, causing the injuries.

I'll bet the Lord slapped his knees at that incident.

Another story tells of a South Texas native, used to feeding round bales of hay, who moved to a new job in Montana. When winter came, he unloaded a big round bale on a hill above his corrals, cut the strings and proceeded to bump the roll with his pickup to unroll the hay just like down in Texas.

He didn't realize that the bales in wintery Montana might be frozen solid. After a bump off the edge of the hill, the bale took on a life of its own, gaining momentum with every revolution. He sat in his warm pickup watching the bale smash down three sections of corral fence, turn over two trash barrels, scattering trash everywhere, and finally stopping after crashing into the side of his wife's car.

I can see the Lord setting up that stunt and wiping tears from his eyes afterward.

One of my personal ranching experiences involved a pet cow that learned to place her front feet on the back bumper of my feed pickup, rear upward until she could reach the paper feed sacks, then steal a few extra tidbits of feed for herself. I always enjoyed her trick and often scratched her back as she committed the crime.

One morning her foot slipped, wedging her foot in between the pickup body and the metal covering the top of the bumper. There was no way to extract the cow's foot without crippling aftereffects. I had to walk three miles into a stiff north wind, hook up the welding trailer to a second pickup and travel back to the scene of the accident, using an acetylene torch cut the critter free.

I believe the Lord went overboard this time in his hijinks as the torch sparks set the grass on fire and I had to spend some anxious moments throwing dirt under my pickup to contain the flames. I sure hope he enjoyed the morning's escapade more than I did.


Delbert Trew

"It's All Trew"
February 21, 2006 column
E-mail: trewblue@centramedia.net.

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