Rarely is the Pajarito Creek the center of attention in our area, but last week when it was more like a river than a creek, many of our citizens were parked on the bridge and were coming and going throughout most of a day. Just watching that red water rushing down stream was a thrilling experience.
Of course, just being at the creek brought back many memories of the past when Dad pastured cattle on both sides of it. That lasted from about 1939 to 1942 and gave a small child the opportunity to know the area fairly well because I went with Dad as often as possible to check the cattle and to see that the one well was pumping. At that time, no bridge existed, and crossing the creek could be a little exciting at times. Knowing where the beds of quick sand were located was rather necessary at such times because a car could disappear rather rapidly if it became mired.
The cattle had to be checked regularly because the fences were not very reliable and could be shoved over with a little pressure from a cow or two. That meant we had to do a little riding on our horses and I could have more fun than usual because I needed that time in the country on my horse to really enjoy life as I had first discovered it. Unfortunately, those fences allowed some of the cattle to roam into the quick sand beds, and that was always a bad scene. As I recall, we lost only one cow, however, because her hip broke while she was being pulled from the bog.
I remember watching Dad and my brother working very hard to rescue those animals and to be very careful to protect their horses at the same time. Also, hearing the cattle bawl because they were stuck was a sad sound to hear. The bawling would increase when the ropes were attached, but they seemed more like bawls of hope because someone was trying to help them. They would usually limp to the right side of the fence and rest a while before going for water at the well.
As I watched some horses walking into the creek last week, I was hoping they would have no problems. At least, they were far enough away from the real creek bed to be safe unless they decided to take a swim. They certainly added to the beauty of the scene and brought back even more memories.
Now, we have a little stream meandering down the way and looking more natural to those of us who haven’t seen a roaring river in a while. We also have a lot of wet ground throughout our county and have high hopes of having good pastures and farms one more time. Just watch the natives smile and listen to the stories about who received the most rain!
Lynn Moncus is a Tucumcari resident and can be contacted through the Quay County Sun by calling 575-461-1952.