Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Sunday, April 15, 2018

Grunt

Dad and 'The Help'.

In the cattle world, when animals are ‘taken to market’, it’s usually advisable to get them there the night before the actual auction.
That way they can ‘shrink up’ (lose some of their water weight) before the auctioneer’s gavel is raised.
Enough background . . .
The heifers were due at the auction market that evening.
And there was only Dad to get them from pasture to corral.
Then from corral into truck.
With two people, it would be an easy procedure.
Dad gave it some quick thought. Then walked quickly to the ranch house and conscripted Mom, who was just slightly pregnant with their first baby.
It was actually easier than it sounds. Mom, though usually busy with the household chores, was always eager for a breath of outside air and a chance to spend time with Dad in the barnyard.
She pulled on her boots and followed him happily.
Mom stared longingly at the saddle horses as they walked by, but shrugged and continued to follow Dad when he said, “This’ll be easy. It should only take a few minutes. We can do it on foot.”
Later, after three hours of galloping around, trying to follow Dad’s shouted instructions as the ten heifers ran in ten different directions, a sweating and exhausted Mom flopped down on the cool grass and decided she’d just stay there forever. Those wretched heifers had outfoxed, outwitted and outrun her for the last time.  “Stupid animals!” she said to no one in particular. “I hope they drop dead!”
When she heard nothing from Dad, she sat up.
Seated on his favourite horse, he was gently bringing the little herd into the corral. Man and skillful horse accomplished the impossible task in seconds.
Seconds!
Mom groaned, stood up on rubbery legs and walked over to where Dad was struggling to lift the stock rack on the truck. “Need some help?” she asked hesitantly.
He gave her an eyebrows raised ‘what could you do?’ look.
“Ummm . . . I could help you grunt,” she whispered.

8 comments:

  1. Hah! Your mom had a great sense of humour! I probably would have made him cook his own supper :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, he would have been on his own. For a month or more! :)

      Delete
  2. After all that effort...a man and his horse took care of it...like he should have done in the first place lol.

    ReplyDelete
  3. That is the sort of help I could provide too. Except that exhausted as your mama was, I suspect I wouldn't volunteer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would have stayed in the grass after about the first ten minutes!

      Delete
  4. I'm wondering why he conscripted her when all he had to do was get on his horse, unless his plan was to have your mum tire them out so they'd be more docile. A little unfair in my opinion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm thinking he just wanted the company!

      Delete

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