Quite a long time ago, my grandfather Pop passed away, and my Dad inherited about 70 acres of land and half of Pop’s cows. I should state at the beginning of this story that, while my Dad had some experience with cattle, it predated WWII, so he was maybe a bit rusty. Of course, I thought he knew everything; it never occurred to me that maybe it was new to him, too.
So, anyhow, we had all these cows.
A year or so later, when I was around 14 or 15 years old, a bull got out of our pasture. Dad chased him on the tractor, an ancient Model C Farm-All tricycle type. When he got close enough, he lassoed the bull around the neck. Fortunately, Dad had the foresight to tie his end of the rope to the tractor, so he got to stay on the tractor for a while.
This is about the time I showed up. Dad invited (!) me to help him get the bull back into the pasture, so I climbed up on the tractor and away we went. I took care of opening and closing gates and so forth, and we drove down into the bottoms with the bull in tow. I should maybe mention that the bull was not all that happy with all this.
Dad stopped the tractor next to the fence between our place and our neighbor’s, got off the tractor, and the bull immediately ran around the tractor, pinning Dad to the tractor with the rope. It took a bit to extricate him, but we got him loose; so then Dad spent a few minutes trying to figure out how to go about this whole deal without getting squashed.
So, Dad had a plan…
He told me to climb over the fence; then he untied the lariat from the tractor, and passed that end to me. We wrapped it around the bottom of the nearest fence post two or three times, and he told me to hang on and don’t let go. Fortunately, we always had gloves handy, working around the place as we did.
So I’m on This side of the fence, and Dad and the bull are on That side of the fence. A nice arrangement, all around, from my perspective. It was really pretty funny, too. Dad was chasing the bull back and forth through a 180° arc, fence to fence, trying to get it to stop so he could get the rope off. This went on for a while, with the bull getting more and more agitated – until the bull ran right through the barbed wire fence.
New situation: Me, weighing around 130 pounds, separated from a seriously pissed off bull by about 25 feet of limp rope.
So, I let go of the rope, climbed over the fence, and tried to grab the rope again. However, the bull had had enough – he vacated the premises before I could grab it. The bull disappears into the neighbor’s woods, trailing the rope.
Dad said “Why’d you let go of the rope?”
I said, “Are you out of your mind? That sucker was on MY side of the fence!”.
This is called, “Fun with Cows”.
Eventually, we managed to herd the bull back on our land, but he had removed the rope, somehow. But an interesting thing happened: Our neighbor had a Beagle named Bandit which may be one of the smartest dogs I’ve ever met. He was sort of a neighborhood dog – he had friends everywhere. So he knew me and my Dad pretty well.
Anyhow, a couple of months after the incident with the bull, Bandit showed up at the barn, dragging that lariat rope. I think he smelled my Dad on it, and figured he’d bring it back to Dad. So Dad eventually got his lariat rope back.