September 2, 2009



Sometimes Shirley is such a chicken. Well, maybe she is just smart.
It started the other day when I was riding and checking cows. Came across this big old bull with a bad foot. Well, a bull can go to heck in a hurry, much like a man, if he can’t eat and drink. So, the next day I devised a plan to doctor this bull.
Now, we have a crossbow that can be used to administer a healthy dose of vaccine. I’ve told you about it. And I have a neighbor that has an air gun that shoots a dart containing the vaccine. You just drive by that bull, have Shirley shoot that dart into that big old muscle on the bull’s neck, hope she doesn’t give a shot in the eye, grab a beer, and head for home.
But then, we raise horses. So I told Shirley we would do it the old fashioned way. I had a young horse that needed riding, and Will has a good gelding that needed the work. Shirley had just had a knee operated on and needed some rehab. I think it wore out stepping on the clutch so many times when baling hay. There is a down side to a big hay crop. Anyway, the doctor had operated on it and told her to keep up the rehab. I figured doctoring bulls would keep her from getting lazy.
Well, I was riding Zippidy Doo Da, who is much better than his name indicates, Will was on Web, and Shirley had the medicine kit on the four-wheeler. We kind of put the sneak on this big old bull and I roped him by the head. Well, that was the plan anyway. I roped him by the head and a front leg. Which, I explained to Will and Shirley, was what I was trying to do. This would prevent choking. While I was explaining, the bull got his head out of the loop. I still had him roped by the front leg. This would really prevent choking, I explained. But, damn, he could pull hard.
Will and Web ducked in to heel him and take a little of the pressure off me. Will caught him by one hind foot. So we’ve got this big old bull by a front foot and a hind foot. And he is not liking this. My horse is kind of spooked, but he’s darn sure keeping the rope tight, because he is scared to death of this ton bull bellowing on the end of the rope.
I holler at Shirley to give him 50 cc’s. She takes this little plastic syringe and starts limping up towards the bull. When she is about ten feet away, I calmly say, “Take the needle out of the vaccine gun, or you will break the tip off.”
She ain’t liking this deal one bit. But she takes the needle in her right hand and limps one more step towards the bull.
I make one more remark. “Be careful he doesn’t kick you in that bad knee!”
Man, the deal was off. She spun around on her good leg and hobbled back towards the four-wheeler.
What should I do? What could I do?
I said, “Well, we have to do this deal. Come over here and get on Zippidy. All you have to do is hold on to the tail of this rope.”
She was shaking just a little. Shirley and catch ropes do not get along real well. I swear she could get tangled up in a two-foot long rope.
But, she bit her lip. Stepped up on Zip like Dale Evans in those old Roy Rogers’ movies, and grabbed the tail of that rope.
I doctored that bull, then relieved Shirley, and Will got the ropes off.
On the way home, I bragged on her a little. She called me a bad name, and said I didn’t know how close she was to letting that rope go, just so the bull could get me!
And she promised to “love and cherish.” Go figure.