It’s best to leave sleeping cows lie

By Baxter Black: QCS columist

If ya hang around a sale barn long enough you are bound to see some strange, some would say supernatural or even extraterrestrial happenings — like a cattle buyer actually bidding a penny over the market, or a waiter in a tuxedo at the sale barn café, or what happened to Chato and the Indian cow.

Sonny said when the truck arrived from the reservation a lot of the cows were thin but the last one required gentle assistance to unload. She was thin, a common-lookin’ white-face cow with a wide muzzle, ringed horns, bony hips and a long tail. A T-11 brand as well as several hieroglyphic brands decorated her hide.

Chato came in to report the cow in question had been “dead all day long!”

Sonny sent two cowboys to the pen. Sure ’nuf she was still dead.

They hooked onto her hind legs with ropes, pulled her from the tight stockyard pen, down three alleys and out to the road.
Chato picked her limp body up with the front-end loader. Sonny checked her IDs and watched as her head hung over the bucket draining digestive fluids. She was lowered gently in the dump truck and laid to wait for the final trip.

Since it was noon, Sonny suggested Chato eat his lunch and deliver the dead beast afterward. Sonny did the paperwork and went on to the next crisis.

Then, unexpectedly he heard what sounded like the Navy’s crack acrobatic team of Blue Angels roaring over the sale yard at the speed of jet fuel!

Thinking they would be strafed, he clutched his chest then realized to his relief it was only the old dump truck, pedal to metal, black smoke billowing and the iron bed rattling like chains on the gates of hell!

Sonny ran outside to see Chato, brakes locked, sliding through the gravel in a cloud of dust! Chato stopped, crashed out of the door and turned back to look.

The crazy-eyed cow was looking down at Chato with a malevolent glare. With the bright sunlight at her back, her eyes glistened out of a silhouetted black head with horns.

“Es un diablo!” yelled Chato as he staggered away.

While Chato was catching his breath and genuflecting, the boys drove the dump truck into a pen. Two of them held the tailgate up as the bed was tilted.

The resurrected cow slid, upright, all four feet splayed out like a novice on the bunny hill. She hit the ground running, on the fight and put ’em all over the fence.

The following week she went through the sale as unnoticed as Clark Kent. Sonny thought it was best to leave sleeping cows lie.