At the heart of the cowboy’s creative process is the fact that he is frequently unencumbered by rational thought! Often a wreck of biblical proportions is preceded by a comment like “I wonder what would happen if… ” Or, maybe more famous still, “y’all hold my beer and watch this.” I once sewed up a local cowboy’s scalp in the ER late in the evening (or early in the morning.) I asked how he had acquired this laceration. He told me it caught in the ceiling fan. Him not being a real tall man I commented that that sounded strange. His “pard” responded, “Oh, Doc he was jumping off the bar when he came in contact with the ceiling fan.”
I once decided that I needed to find out if a mule I’d been given (a bad prognostic sign) could be ridden. Without a great deal of preamble I just saddled him and got on. All went well as we walked around the breaking pen. Then I sort of poked him in the ribs to ask for a lope. He busted in half, like a cork popping out of a champagne bottle. I found myself on the ground, still in the saddle, stirrups and all, as he went bucking and farting around the pen.Then there’s the cowboy who put a chain around a bogged cow’s neck and attached it to a pickup bumper to pull her out and couldn’t figure out how she got paralyzed. “Beats anything I ever saw!” He says.
I guess the classic was one dark winter evening when in sloppy rain soaked field I “needed” to catch a heifer to A.I. her, and was going to rope her on foot and dally to the truck’s trailer hitch. My wife was driving. She saw me neck rope the heifer, who took off before I got my dallies. I wouldn’t let go. She said that what she saw in the truck headlights was me making forty foot long splashing strides to keep up. Beats anything she ever saw!