Reed the cowboy cartoonist and Baxter Black the modern cowboy columnist have made
a living showing and telling of the hapless cowboy and his exploits during his
When such cartoons and stories are viewed by ranch people,
almost all can conjure up a character they have known or worked with who could
be placed into the story.
Only someone familiar with the cowboy
life could portray the characters like old Jake, his fellow cowboy employees,
the mean old banker "Toughernhell," the pot-bellied feed store man, the sympathetic
bartender, the lying horse-trader and, bless her heart, his long-suffering wife,
Ma. Here is a story with modern-day implications. It could be true but more likely
is only Trew.
Jake wasn't completely over the hill yet but he was a little long in the tooth.
He still rode horseback daily by himself as he and his wife Sally lived way out
in the hills working for a big ranch. The kids were gone and the house was empty,
but Sally knew Jake would never be satisfied working at any other occupation.
She worried about him working alone and purchased a cell phone for him to carry
as he rode in case he was ever injured or left afoot out on the range.
Jake did not understand modern technology nor did he trust anything technical.
He called the cell phone "the critter" and refused to take it with him, stating
the loud ring would booger his horse and get him bucked off. After 50 years of
marriage to Jake, Sally finally worked it out.
To ease his mind she put the phone on vibrate instead of ring, but Jake did not
understand fully with the explanation going over his head like the prairie breeze.
Finally, after long arguments he agreed to carry the critter but "technically"
never promised to use it. It looked expensive so in order to prevent loss he pushed
it down deep in his front Wranglers pocket.
As usual Jake mounted up before
sun-up and began his daily ride. The day progressed as he and his mount attended
the ranch work. Along about mid-afternoon they kicked up a mad rattlesnake in
heavy sagebrush. Jake made a quality rodeo ride before he could dismount. By the
time he had dispatched the serpent with rocks his heart was racing in overdrive,
about like that of his mount.
He finally was able to mount his spooky
bronc, both still seeing a snake under every sage bush and weed. It was at this
moment dearest Sally called on the cell phone to check on his location.
When the forgotten critter, lying deep in his front pocket, right next to his
tenderest most delicate body parts, began to vibrate, feeling somewhat like a
rattlesnake sounded rattling, Jake just couldn't help it. He peed in his Wranglers.
11, 2010 Column © Delbert Trew
"It's All Trew"
is a freelance writer and retired rancher. He can be reached at 806-779-3164,
by mail at Box A, Alanreed, TX 79002, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
For books see DelbertTrew.com. His column appears weekly.
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