Spence and Hayes were headed out to go get some cows out of the neighbor’s pasture so I made them stopped for a few photos. These two have become quite the pair lately. Hayes used to be a mama’s boy, but is quickly making the move over to dad. The other night Spence told Hayes to fire up the DVD player, we were going to watch a movie. Hayes cheered and said Yay, a movie. Then Spence left to go change his clothes and Hayes whispered to me that he didn’t really care about the movie, he just loved spending time with dad.
They came home with a tale about jumping ditches and driving cattle through the Little Colorado. Sounded like quite the adventure. It took them several more hours than expected….life as usual on the ranch.
Hayes told me the story: “We got there and opened the corral gate where we were going to pen them in. We went through this little field they were supposed to be in, but they weren’t there so we kept going to the end of the field where it dropped down a little. We could see the river and a fence that was a little higher than our heads, because of the drop. We had to get off our horses and lead them under it. It was too deep to cross the river right there, so we went up a pretty steep hill and straight back down. We went through a couple of trees and then found a little spot where the water was more shallow. My dad went first. I was super scared. We could see the ground most of the way, but it got deep towards the middle. It never got higher than our horses knees. My dad’s horse pawed at the ground to see how deep it was. Eventually he got across. When it was my turn, my horse just walked right across like it was nothing.”
“So then we curved around the bend and through a few more trees where the ground was cracked. Then we found the cows. A black cow was leading them. We decided to let that cow show us where they had crossed the river…it was quite a bit deeper than the spot we had crossed. All the cows crossed and we followed. It was deeper but not any harder. My toes got wet until I pulled them up. My dad had to lift his legs out of the stirrups and hold them out of the water. Then we went up a little hill, but there was a fence that was bunched up about 2 feet off the ground. My dad put a stick in it so our horses would see it so we could safely walk over it. The cows crossed over it also. Then we crossed back over the field and brought the cows to the corral. Unfortunately there was another gate by the corral and they sprinted through it instead of into the corral. My dad had to sprint on his horse and turn them back to the corral. I didn’t realize what was happening until he caught them. Then I held the cows while my dad stood by the gate of the corral and we pushed them in. Job done.”
“But….we didn’t want to put the cows and horses in the trailer together, so we had to tie the horses to the back of the trailer while we drove to the highway. At the highway, we tied the horses to a tree, hauled the cows to the Sylva, then went back and picked up our horses. We were worried that the horses would get loose while we were gone and get on the highway, but when we got back they were still tied to the tree. We got them into the trailer and went home. Job done. No wait….we still had to unsaddle them and put them away. Job done…nope. We still had to do chores and then we were finally able to got home and eat dinner. Phew. A cowboy’s work is never done.”