Two cowponies, a young one, and an old ranch horse called Gotch (for his stubby ears, once frostbit as a colt), were talking in the corral.
“You ready for a story?” asked Gotch.
“Sure, Gotch, always ready for a story.”
“Well, when I was about your age, we didn’t have all the fancy stuff, pens, and chutes, and stuff. We worked cattle out in the open, out in the brush. The old ranny who was riding me decided it was time for me to learn about roping. So, he took down his whale line and build him a loop while we was holding herd in a round up. We was close to a good size bull calf, so he just flipped the loop over the calf’s neck and threw away the slack. Then what he done next startled hell outta me! He just stepped off! Well, when that bull calf, who was about half growed, figured out he was caught, all hell broke a’loose! He run out and hit the end of that rope so hard it near about knocked me down! At first I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know who caught who! Then he run right at me. We collided with a thud, again almost knocking me down. Then he run around behind me and took off. When that rope took up, I felt it burn past my butt, then it spun me around like a top! I didn’t know whichaway was up. I started to run off but the bull calf stubbed down all four hooves and jerked me around again. This went on for a while, but then I figured I best keep an eye on him, so I commenced keeping my head aimed right at his. Finally, after a good bit of jerking around, one of the other cowboys came in and roped the sucker by his hind feet and dumped him. With that, my cowboy run up and pulled the loop off his neck. When the calf got up the cowboy who had his hind feet roped, waved him some slack and that calf stepped right out of the loop and run away. I stood there spraddle legged and shakin’ and sweatin’! My own cowboy got back on, and coiled up his rope and pulled up my head and we rode on. In a little bit, we eased up to a half-grown heifer, and he snaked that there string out again and caught her around the neck. I’m not the brightest bulb in the box, but I knowed what was coming next, so I set back an’ braced myself and kept my head aimed right at her. She hit the end of the rope and commenced buckin’ and bawlin’ until that other cowboy heeled her just like before. When she went down we stretched her out. After they pulled that loop off and she’d vamoosed, I figured out that my job was pretty straight up – keep facing the varmint on the other end of the rope and don’t never let’er git behind you!”