The Struggle

His phone rarely rings. He has it set to vibrate first and he usually catches it pretty quick when it starts to go off. Today was no exception and it was Mike Powers on the other end. He let Morgan know that there was a cow down in the creek on his place. He wasn’t sure if she was the only one, but he knew there was at least one down there.

Dad let Mick and Dick know and they penned the remuda horses. Those are the horses in the front trap that we use to work cattle. Everybody got saddled up and loaded up and they headed to the creek. It takes a while to get back there.

Once they arrived, it didn’t take long to find her. Dick was on a big sorrel that he calls Hercules. He struck a trot toward the big brehmer pulling his rope down with Mick and Morgan just a few strides behind him.

That’s when it got interesting.

Hercules all but disappeared.

When you grow up between two large creeks, you are taught how to deal with quicksand at an early age. Dick stepped off quickly, got horizontal and rolled out of there. By then Mick and Morgan were part way in it as well. It pulled on their horses pretty bad but they skirted it enough to not go down… for the moment.

As Dick tried to get Hercules out of the quicksand, Morgan and Mick went to that cow. Morgan roped her and the little grulla he was riding went down. That quick sand was all over. Morgan was lucky though that he had the bank on one side and he just stepped off. The little mare had a fight on her hands though.

Of course, horses don’t really have anybody to teach them about quicksand. What they do have is instinct. They’ll fight it, but they know when they’re fighting a losing battle. They’ll quit and get real still when it starts to pull on them too hard.

The little mare Dad was on did just that. She was fighting it, but she was going the wrong way. Her and Hercules both were pushing themselves toward the middle of the creek. See, the slope heads downward into the creek so that seems to be the path of least resistance to them. It’s not.

Dick had dug around Hercules enough to get him unsaddled and was trying to coax him out of his predicament.

The grulla mare, on the other hand was in a little different situation. She fought into the water and evidently thought that it was still quicksand. She had laid down and quit. Completely quit. She was still tied off to the Brehmer at this point, and now she was floating down the creek like a dead fish. She wouldn’t swim ’cause she thought she was still in the sand.

Well, Mick and Dick had gotten Hercules pointed toward the bank finally and were letting him catch his breath. Morgan was waiting for his mare to feel the bank so that she would hopefully stand back up. She wasn’t going far since the brehmer cow was in the quick sand too now, like an anchor for Dad’s grulla, four-legged bass tracker.

She finally did find the bank and get up. The crew was back in business. They dug around the cow a bit and then Mick and Morgan pulled her to the bank. Dick was still dealing with his sunken comrade.

He was pointed the right direction but not trying anymore. So, a little incentive was needed. By incentive, I mean nylon incentive. And by nylon incentive, I mean he had to wear his ass out a little with his rope to get him to try some more. He did. And he got out. Finally.

For one cow, it was a long drawn out ordeal. But it was called a success.

I wonder sometimes if I’m in quicksand. Do you ever get that feeling? Sometimes you think you’re headed in the right direction and you struggle and struggle so sure of yourself. Then something, or someone, changes your direction. Probably the work of Our Lord. You probably think they’re crazy. You may even resent them. They might even have to wear your ass out a little in order to get you going again.

Remember that you can fight the wrong way for only so long. Sometimes you have to take someone else’s lead and change direction. Trust them to get you to the bank, even if they’re whipping your ass to get you there. 😉


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