I'll Tell You When to Run
April 21, 2021 | View PDF
There are three primary questions I ask myself before I write a column: 1) If I were ever to run for a government office, will these words be held against me? (Answer: probably) 2) Is so-and-so going to feel like I threw them under the bus after writing this article? (Answer: possibly) AND 3) Is my cowboy actually going to read this or can I hope this one slips by without him knowing? (Answer: he always finds them.)
I should ask more honorable questions like: 4) Is this going to glorify the Lord? I will always remind everyone that I am sinner saved by grace and sometimes the order that I think through these questions gets mixed up. The only question that shows any merit at all is number four, but I have always suffered from a high dose of honesty and even-if-you-didn’t-ask-for-my-opinion-here-it-is… Even if I try not to say anything at all my facial expressions are known to have zero self-control.
For our family ranch here on top of the Peetz hill it is calving time. Our cows are popping them out left and right. As new managers of our place we have re-instituted the tradition of tagging calves. It makes for great horses, great cowboys, great cowpokes, great records, and really great stories.
It was a quiet Sunday evening when my cowboy in a not-so-subtle way tried to adoringly ask if we all want to load up in the ol’ CJ-5 Jeep and bounce around in the pasture to do just a “little bit of tagging” before bedtime. I knew that this swift move was made in hopes of getting caught up in one particular pasture all under the guise of “quality family time.” I can see his thoughts from a mile away, but we all obliged.
My cowboy was in the cockpit, four of us were in the backseat, and one of the older ‘pokes alternated using the slingshot approach to eject out of their seat to catch the newborn calf. I would like to add this following disclaimer: we all were using proper OSHA standards (boots, jeans and covered arms), restraints (holding on to the roll bar) and no one was harmed in the making of this memory.
If you’ve ever seen an Ace Reid cartoon we looked exactly how he depicts the raucous that happens out in the pasture. Tagging pen flying out of the Jeep “window” that Uncle Tim accidently created with a shotgun. Someone trying to record the cow and calf information in the world’s smallest record book known as the Red Book while leaving 6” of air between their behind and the missing seat cushion.
Another ‘poke was running around with a hook trying to have a foot race with a calf that the toddler accurately describes, “that calf turned the fire booms on! Good luck brother!” The baby ‘poke thought this was the most wonderful moment of his two little years of life. He was squealing with pure delight.
If you’ve never had an encounter with an angry mama cow who is simply trying to protect her newborn calf you haven’t really lived. My cowboy, in much wisdom, told my older ‘pokes, “I’ll tell you when to run, until then, stick with it.” It seems like a simple ear piercing endeavor until you have 1200 pounds running toward you with fire in her eyes. It takes a lot of courage to “stick with it” and completely trust your daddy to keep you in the fight until he tells you when it would be best to escape the current impending doom. He did tell them when to run and run they did…. laughing all the way!