Baxter Black: The Romantic Cowboy

Enjoy the wit and wisdom of a cowboy poet and ex-veterinarian in Baxter Black's column on EquiSearch.
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Enjoy the wit and wisdom of a cowboy poet and ex-veterinarian in Baxter Black's column on EquiSearch.

There's nothing like an evening of calving to promote the romantic image of the cowboy. Right, ladies?

Don invited a nice woman out to his ranch one evening for candlelight, wine and canned bean dip. This dinner date coincided with calving season. After an hour of civilized conversation about French paintings, the European Common Market and the condition of the rodeo arena in Ponoka, Don invited his date to go with him to check the cows.

She didn't exactly squeal with delight but he explained how scientific livestock raising had become. "Almost like visiting a human hospital maternity ward," he said, authoritatively.

They drove his Bronco out into the calving pasture and immediately spotted a braymer cross cow tryin' to calve. "We'll watch her for a few minutes to see if everything comes out okay," suggested Don, sliding an arm around her shoulders.

They sat in the warm cab, moonlight mixing with Don's elaborate discourse of bovine parturition. After half an hour he decided to assist the cow. Partly for the cow and partly to show off.

The calf appeared to be hiplocked.

His date prepared to see modern veterinary procedure save the day. Don drove up to the head end of the cow and left the headlights shining in her eyes. Sneaking out, he slipped around behind her. He slid the nylon obstetrical straps over the calf's protruding front feet. At first tug the cow arose like a bee stung buffalo!

She whirled to mash Don. He was jerked off his feet but clung to the straps as the cow chased him like a dog chasin' its tail! He was alternately upright, flat out, levitating, scooting, skiing, sliding, screaming and squirreling as the three of them circled like a shaky ceiling fan.

His only hope of survival was to hang on and say behind the helicoptering cow. Even then she managed to land enough blows to win the round and tromp his fallen hat to a pulp.

On one mighty jerk, the calf popped out. Don executed a complete cartwheel and landed on his back. The cow rolled him once and headed off in the darkness.

His date, who had watched Don's calving technique from the cab was not impressed."Less than professional," she had commented as he climbed in the cab after giving the departed cow a four alarm cussing.

Don tried to regain his composure and recapture the mood by explaining that he had been in control the whole time. However, it was not very convincing what with the big glob of manure plastered on the side of his neck and the piece of placenta dangling from his ear.