Hurts So Good

We were moving yearlings. (Thats a cow thats a year old, honkeys) This was after a long day of moving another herd at one of our other ranches. Well, yearlings are quite excitable. Every which way we tried to move them they decided to go the exact opposite way. And here all sixty or so decide to barrel right at me. Ive got a set of pipes on me, so I managed to get them all turned around… Except for one. I chased him down the fence line and almost had him when he decided to crawl through the barbed wire. shit. By this time my uncle had caught up to me on his 24 year old quarter horse that is so full of piss an vinegar that nobody taught him how to sidestep; he just does it naturally while my uncle jerks violently at the bit and tries to get the damn horse to slow down. We opened the fence into the neighbors field and tried to get around the trouble maker yearling. He stayed one step ahead of us as he dodged around the indifferent red cows of our neighbor. Slowly but surely we went from walk to trot, to balls-out gallop trying to get ahead of this bastard. Its a great feeling, to be atop a sweating, stinking, huffing beast as it strains its muscles to do work that it does not understand.

Bridger is getting on in horse years. So it should come as no surprise that his left front hoof gave out and went down. Up flies my uncle over the saddle, face first into the ground.My uncle is no spring chicken and rather rotund. It was thus comical how all the fat that usually rests on the front of his body briefly migrated to the back and sides before returning to its proper position.

A sack of potatoes

He was fine. His glasses mashed up into his brow giving him quite a lot of blood and a wicked shiner and his hand and knee got fucked up and haven’t been working quite right for the last few days. We let the crew go and returned to our western ranch to transport bulls. After the initial shock of having the stuffing knocked out of him, I noticed something peculiar. My uncle is a recluse. He ranches and reads novels. Thats about it. So while I tend to get along fine with him, I totally understand if the world at large doesn’t exactly perceive his as the most friendly or cheerful individual. But on this particular trip he was in an exceptionally good mood. Why would coming extremely close to a severe injury make someone cheerful? Im no biologist but I’m assuming it has something to do with the chemicals released by your brain during a crisis. Apart from that he has a badass story to tell for the next week or so. Something cool happened.

So why are the vast majority of people so risk averse? Why is pain avoided at all costs among the sheeple? I guess the point I’m trying to make is that every once in a while you should do something dangerous. Theres no better way to feel alive.

My uncle tried to sneak up on my while I was writing this and pop a plastic bag behind my ear. This is quite unusual behavior for his as he usually just stays in his bunk house. We rehashed the crash and he bitched briefly about the various pains it is causing him. What would possess him to visit me? Perhaps on some level he knew he was being written about… hmmm… maybe Ill post about that at another time.

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3 thoughts on “Hurts So Good

  1. The ability to shoulder risk tends to be correlated with testosterone. But it is a feedback loop. The more one takes risk, the better one handles risk, up until the body starts to protest. I think it is a real shame when men become so body-conscious that they are no longer willing to shoulder risk. Not that I can blame them.
    My only experience with a yearling resulted in me getting dragged through about a foot deep of rained on mud and shit while knowing that the well had just been sabotaged and therefore my only hope of getting clean was to do a rain dance. It was a low moment in my life.
    Goats are more my speed, even upon learning the hard way to never put a baby goat with even the cutest little horns on my lap.

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  2. Ive been on the worst end of that loop. Such a stressful work environment, and too much booze and drugs. I started going prematurely bald. As with anything, I’m trying to learn balance.

    That story of yours sounds like a winner tho. Who sabotaged the well? Snidely Whiplash?

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    • The farm was in Venezuela and was perfect in every way including the price, which should have been the clue that something was wrong. The “something” turned out to be one little old lady who had decided that my land was hers and had driven away at least seven families before me. She used her own reputation as “a witch” or simply the offer of a bunch of bananas to enlist the services of all sorts of persons–some of them armed. The more minor adventure she spurred would be the poisoning of the well or interrupting the fresh mountain spring that fed it. Other adventures don’t lend themselves to my clear-headed transcription.

      But the farm is still there and with a team of adventurers and a few well-placed bribes could be mine again one day, albeit I doubt I’ll ever live to see it.

      However to give the old witch too much credit is to overlook the decision of the primary-decision-maker in my household which was that he neither required an army of adventurers or even me his wife to be a part of his team, even though I was the “livestock wrangler” of the two of us who so happened to have funded the whole operation (as well as his embezzled offshore nest egg). Apparently, all he required was a long look at himself every day, several times a day in a mirror, and a daily communion with the bottle, and “the witch” accomplished the rest. He turned out to be quite a brilliant, lazy man. I was the pig to be roasted all along.

      Of course, I accept my poor choice of husband as part of the problem, and my otherwise poor radar in terms of who to trust and who not to trust. The good news today is that I no longer attract embezzlers, kidnappers, etc.

      I always was one to learn hard lessons the hard way. I’m lucky to be alive. Looks like we both have a “second chance”. Best to make the most of it.

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