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Date:10/25/2014 7:48:30 AM
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Day 21-- The Perils that lurk in the water
Howdy wranglers, Chuey here with today's Cattle Drive Update. It's a warm day as the sun rose over the horizon. The final night watch was in from the herd as Kaji and Lizzie served up a mes of biscuits with gravy, oatmeal and black thick Texas Coffee. A mighty fine feed if ya are askin' me. Mikey was busy loading up the hot-rolls into the Dragon-wagon (chuck-wagon to all ye green-horns) as the light finally began to bounce off the milling herd of critters out on the pasture just north-east of Doan.
I'd been a ponderin' what had become of Jenny-Lynn and the spies we'd left yonder in the hills keepin' an eye on our rustler friends there. About the time I was gettin to frettin' some, Kiddo came galloping into Doan with news. " Jenny-Lynn had decided the only ways to know what a rustler was thinkin' was to become one of them." .she acted like she is running from the law and asks to join them, she knew Kiddo, Panther, Finnegan, & Sweetie had got her back! This is not an attack, merely a fact finding mission to determine fire power and numbers, BUT JL IS READY FOR COME WHAT MAY! She will slip out of the outlaws camp when they are all sleeping like babies cuz they had to much Red Eye to drink! " That left me with some concerns but knowin' Jenny-Lynn she could handle herself, we began to prepare the herd for the River crossin'.
One of the most dangerous parts of driving cattle was the River Crossings. A deep river that was wide like the Red River, and had a strong current from recent rain presented three great hazards. One was the cattle could be swept downstream, making them tired from struggling and causing them to drown. Cattle have no lick-a-sense and can get half way across and change their minds and turn back, causing the herd to become tangled up together and drown. The River banks themselves were a problem As the herd entered and exited the stream they need firm ground, enough to support 800 pounds of wet beef. Sometimes with the wet cattle ahead, followers found themselves mired in quicksand that sucked the cow down where it died a slow terrified death.
When the water was too hazardous to cross it meant delays which caused problems as many herds arrived at the same locale, needing grass to graze and putting the drivers behind schedule. Wranglers worked 24/7 to keep herds separated while they waited on the River to recede.
With all this in mind, we set out to gather the herd of ornery critters back into one place to begin the arduous task of crossing the rapidly flowing Red River, running fast after all the recent rains. With guns blasting into the air, whips lickin the flanks of some very stubborn strays, and ropin' in cows with infant calves at their sides it took well onwards to noon before the herd was back in line to begin the water crossing.
Trail Boss Chuey 245908
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