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Date:9/21/2014 1:34:45 AM
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Day 10--When the rain comes down
Howdy cow wranglers, trail Boss Chuey here with some important news. As I perdicted yesterday the rains came upon us from over the mountains to the North. Now, we be needin' that there rain, but it does also bring us cow punchers a mess a trouble when it comes to tending these long horned critters. Havin' just traveled over one hundred miles with little more then a shallow creek or river here and there, these dawgies is itchin' to get some good grazin and a long, cool drink.
The thunder could be heard for miles before the first grey clouds dotted the blue horizon. The wind had picked up early on, and the herd had been spookin' and bolting all the day long. The first heavy drops of rain came as a blessed relief after sittin-saddle for fourteen long, dusty hours.
"Boss, rains comin' want that we move these cows closer to the trees?' Kiddo asked reining in Freckles in a cloud of parched dust.
"Better, they are boltin and fussing. Have Cydney and Gus help cut out the bulls and bed the herd down over yonder." Chuey points towards low lying grass land."Now, let me tell ya the cowboy life is no bed od roses so to speak. It's plum full of troubles, woes and dangers. In addition to hard work, the cowboy and his horse encounters many dangers on the cattle drive, particularly when crossing rivers. If the leader of the cattle was distracted or disturbed by a tree or brush floating in the river she might turn around, which would turn the entire herd around, causing them to "mill" in the river. The cowboys have to drive straight into the center of the mill, striking the animals to force them back on track or the cattle would drown. In 1879, a herd of 3014 cattle panicked while crossing the Platte River in Nebraska and 800 died. The cowboys often a time die in the river, thrown from their horses or gored by horns of panicked cattle swimming in the middle of the mill. A surprising number of cowboys are also unable to swim, according to Western historian Albert Marrin, who claims that most rivers on the cattle trails had numerous graves of drowned cowboys. Now, back to the troubles we was havin'."
Sky comes flying in so fast his horse skidded to a stop. " Rains coming hard, we'll be in the middle of it in fifteen, maybe twenty minutes."
"Strawberry. Hulk, Cookie, Susan" I holler over the mowing and bawlin' of the cows, " move' um yonder to the trees." Quick as a whip they had their horses cutting and herding the leaders towards the trees and low lands.
"Panther and Kacey were working hard to keep the cows with young calves moving. Some of them there calves bein only a few hours old and all."
Snowy and Cappy were busy helping Lizzie, Mikey and Kaji to get the pots and what-nots loaded back into the chuckwagon when the clouds over-head bust and the driving rain began. It was gonna be one long, night keeping them cows together.
Trail Boss Chuey 245908
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