My family was working bull calves that day- snotting, blowing, insulted bull calves. At 600 pounds, they were just big enough to cause some damage, and a lot bigger then I am. We were vaccinating, worming, and sorting them. We also banded some of the smaller ones, and I can understand why they were upset.
We’re not setup to handle a lot of cattle, even little ones. We get by, and make do. When we were finished with a bull and let him out of the chute steaming mad, some of us girls had to substitute for fences. I do not look anything like a fence, but I was only blocking a small space. I stood with one hand holding a steel panel. On the other side was a post, then the opening the bulls were suppose to go through. My sister, Lori, was substituting for a gate between the bulls we were finished with, and the ones we weren’t. At least I did not have upset calves on both sides.
Before we finished, Lori had to jump on the fence to escape charging bulls at least 8 times. She was getting very good at it. Every time a bull came by, she flinched and measured the distance to the fence.
I did not have a fence to jump on. When a bull charged me, I stood my ground as long as possible and tried to look tough. Sometimes it worked, and he would change his mind at the last minute. Sometimes it didn’t. I tried blocking one with my prodding stick, jamming the stick against a post. That didn’t work. The bull just kept coming and ripped the stick out of my hands. For some reason, I grabbed him around the neck instead. I guess it was instinct. I barely slowed the bull down, though my left arm was sore for days.
When another bull refused to back down, I managed to look scary enough that he didn’t want to hit me straight on. Instead, he ran full on into the panel I was holding. I held on to it until the last instant, and he hit my arm too. The right arm this time. Shoot!
I thought I would get away with only my arms sore. Then just as we were finishing, I got trapped in a corner, and one of the bulls kicked me square in the rear. Stung like fire.
We all had a blast with those bulls. They are so funny when they are angry (especially to those on the safe side of the fence). One of them would charge Lori, and I would laugh like crazy until he took a shot at me. Then Lori would laugh, and ask what I was scared of. It was great fun.
After we finished and it was getting dark, I headed for the house. The thought suddenly hit me that some day I might get married, and have to leave all this. I don’t make a habit of praying for my future mate like some people do. It just feels weird to me. But that night as I watched the sunset, I prayed very earnestly, “God, please let me marry a cowboy.”
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