Thursday, October 13, 2011

Honk If You Love ...

Maybe I should go in the bumper sticker business. I'm sure you've seen them. "Honk if you love Jesus!" "Honk if you love this politician or that politician."

The cheese people are in on the "honking" movement.

I'm thinking of a "Honk if you love beef" product line. It came to me when I was creating noise pollution in a remote part of Reno County.

My job during the Great Cattle Round-Up last week was staying behind at the pickup and honking the horn. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it. The guys raced away on 4-wheelers.

I worked on creating a pleasing honking cadence that would attract bovines and bring them into the lot. As they approached, my job was to wave a sack that had been emptied of range cubes. It was supposed to be the "Come and get it" signal, the one that let the cows and calves know that a special treat was on the snack menu for the day.

Sounds easy, right? Well, it was, except for one small detail the boss didn't tell me and I didn't realize until he was off in the remote part of the pasture rounding up cattle. The trailer was positioned in such a way that I couldn't see the action taking place and honk the horn at the same time.

So, every so often, I'd take a break from the honking and jump onto the running board of the trailer so I could see if the cattle were approaching. There they were, off in the distance.

And there they were in a cloud of dust!

That was my cue to drag another 50-pound bag from the pickup bed and dump the range cubes on the ground. The aim was to keep the cows collected while the guys looked for any laggers.

Mosey on up to the range cube buffet!

I did get a 4-wheeler ride at the end to check for any strays. My driver took me on a steep incline, and I had visions of being pinned under a 4-wheeler. After my last cattle roundup resulted in a broken big toe, I wasn't having any problems thinking up disasters.

But we avoided disaster on the first day. Tomorrow: Did my streak of luck continue?

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