In addition to “wreck stories” the cowboy genre is peppered with another type of unfortunate humor, “stuck stories”. Some oldies but goodies refer to crossing streams with a team and wagon, or pulling cows out of boggy creeks with ropes.
Recent rainy weather in Texas has produced deceptive areas in many pastures which await unwary rural motorists, beds of water-soaked bentonite clay overgrown with winter weeds capable of taking down oilfield rig trucks and farm equipment in a single gulp. Experience is a harsh teacher, and we never get too old to learn.
My wife went out in a back pasture to show some mares to a friend, driving her Ford Taurus. Moments later came the call,”Glenn, I’m stuck!” So macho man here cranks the 4×4 diesel pick’em’up to charge out and save the maidens, only to become the second victim of the innocent looking pasture sink hole! We tried nearly everything, including the tying of a 2×4 to the tire, to no avail. Finally we called a friend to come get me so I could bring the tractor to pull both vehicles out. As darkness fell, I arrived in the John Deere 4040 lights blazing and diesel roaring. Crawling in the cold mud to find something solid in the frame of the Taurus I attached a logging chain and out she came.
The F350 was another story, the big pickup refused to budge, and I almost ( but not quite) bogged the tractor pulling it out. Finally, all extricated from the gloop we headed home.With warm, dry, clothes, celebrating in the kitchen I recounted the story about how we had once bogged two tractors and had to call a dozer service to pull us out.
But the topper was the one about the cowboy down on the Shanghai Pierce ranch near Blessing, Texas, down on the Gulf coast. It seems he rode up on a buzzard energetically flapping his wings but not going anywhere. On close investigation it turns out he reported that the big bird had bogged his shadow in a mud hole! Seeya down the road!