The Hacamore vs. The Chicken Catcher

Long after my early years of learning horsemanship with Buck, I brought my “bride to be” home from college to meet my family. Of course that included going to see “Mr. Kidwell” our neighbor. Sally and I drove up the driveway and were received at the back door of the house by Lurline the greatest cook and the sweetest lady in the Brazos valley. “Buck’s out behind the barn, Glenn, y’all go one back there” she directed. So we traipsed out to the pens behind the barn where Buck was involved with the intricate affair of trying to “milk out” a bad udder on a big Brahman cow who had just calved, and the calf couldn’t suck the swollen teat. We howdy’d, and visited a spell, then Buck went back to work. He repeatedly pitched a piece of lariat rope under the cow, who was standing in a chute, he was attempting to get it around a back leg so as to immobilize the leg enough to prevent getting kicked while squeezing out the udder. She would kick like lightning as he jerked his hand back, repeatedly failing to get the leg caught in the rope. I remembered a trick using a coat hanger, straightening it out and fashioning a hook in the end to reach through and catch a rope safely avoiding getting kicked. It was called a “chicken catcher”. I suggested this to Buck with the answer (emphatically) “Hell, I don’t need no (epithet deleted) chicken catcher, I’m a COWBOY!”

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