Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



All of My Friends

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Cowlights

One of a series of cartoons from the
'What I Saw at the Calgary Stampede' collection
By Calgary Herald cartoonist, Stewart Cameron
Cows.
I know you’ve seen them.
Quietly standing in the ranchers’ fields, peacefully grazing or happily chewing their cud.
Gentle. Calm. Maternal.
Okay, here is where I debunk the myth.
Because – and I know this will be shock to some – All Cows Are Not Created Equal.
Oh, there are many who are exactly as they appear. Tranquil. Easily managed.
But then there are some . . .
Maybe a story will illustrate.
My grandfather, George Stringam, and a group of men had gathered together a herd of cattle for shipping. These animals were from several different herds. None knew each other. (Yes, cows can tell.) And all were ‘feeling their oats’.
So to speak.
They had chased each other around the pens and corrals of the train terminal and finally managed to break down one of the fences.
Oops. I think Bossy did it!
Moving on . . .
One of the critters managed to escape through the newly-created exit.
And she was headed for the nearest far-away place and didn’t care who knew.
By this time, it was growing dark and all of the men were using lanterns to help them see to sort out the mess.
One of the ranchers, intent on stopping this determined animal stepped in front of her.
Yes, you heard that correctly.
His thinking was that if he swung the lantern in front of her, the cow would just naturally turn and head back to the corral.
Seems like a sound theory to me.
Of course it didn’t work.
The cow skimmed past him.
Closely.
In fact, so closely that one of her horns snagged said lantern.
The last they saw of her was a light going over a distant hill.
Do the words, “Follow me! I’ll light the way!” come to mind?
Don’t do it.

14 comments:

  1. I have a visual of that. How I wish I could paint that picture of the lone cow headed off into the distance with her lantern.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heading for the nearest 'far- away' place!

      Delete
  2. Now that's funny! Great word picture as well as the cartoon

    ReplyDelete
  3. The cartoon is funny, and your story more so! Did they ever get the cow back? Had she started a prairie fire with the lantern? So many questions!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No prairie fire, thank goodness. This could have been a disaster in so many ways. I can picture coal oil on the animal with disastrous results. Fortunately none of that happened. She managed, somehow, to lose the lantern. When they rounded her up days later, she was fat and healthy. But just as wild . . .

      Delete
  4. I can see the glow through the night! I wonder ifthey caught her before she ran out of gas! Sorry had to say that one haha!

    ReplyDelete
  5. If I see her I'll let you know, okay?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I expect she's still running! Thank you! :)

      Delete
  6. I can just picture it all. The light disappearing over the horizon. Another one that brought me some great smiles...........
    Blessings for this one!.

    ReplyDelete
  7. That light at the end of the tunnel - not necessarily a train! Great story, Diane. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah. But still a light you don't want to get in front of . . . :)

      Delete

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