That was a lot of bull
Tuesday April 01st 2008, 12:20 pm
Filed under: Life

I called Frances–five minutes, it turned out, before her scarf arrived in the mail, so she was at the happy anticipation stage. It was wonderful to hear her voice and say thank you more personally than an email can convey. You know how, some people, you meet them and you’re instantly friends? It felt like that. Thank you, Russell, for encouraging me to call, you both totally made my day.


Time to go get the latest blood test. Hang on just a second, though, I’ve got this post to write first.

I was answering emails from that last post, and one friend back East was reminiscing over going to rodeos in Arizona. My husband had a good friend who grew up in the mountains above Salt Lake City, who rode the professional rodeo circuit for awhile like his dad had done.

Richard met Zane when they were both serving missions for the Mormon Church in France in the 70’s. Imagine being from a town so small I don’t think it had a stoplight, finding yourself in southern France–can you say culture shock?–and finding yourself assigned to work with someone from Washington, DC, whose parents had gone to parties at the Eisenhower White House. Who, it turned out, though, had worked on his grandparents’ ranch several summers growing up–in the next town down from your own. Who knew the places you knew, who knew some of the people you knew, who could swap stories on them with you. Small world.

We were visiting Zane at his folks’ ranch one day back when we were newlyweds. He wanted to show us his dad’s new buffalo. There was a field with a tall wooden fence and a sign on the gate saying that that buffalo could cross that field in X seconds. The owner could cross it in so many, and it was definitely fewer than X. Enter at your own risk.

I tell you, that beat any “Beware of dog” sign I ever saw. I was not at all sure about going in there. I mean, I was REALLY not sure. They had to talk me into it. Zane laughed good-naturedly at my city-slickeredness. I knew my husband actually knew how to milk a cow and rope a calf (he described it as, in his case, pointing the horse at the right one and letting it do most of the work while he hung on for dear life, it was the expert, not him), but it was all very exotic to me; the two men were having a grand time chatting and catching up on old times as we went in.

People! Feeding time! The buffalo way over yonder started ambling happily in our direction. I tell you–I catapulted over that fence faster than I knew I could go, I didn’t even open the gate, I wasn’t going to take a risk with fumbling over that latch, I was out of there! While the guys were cracking up. It just wanted a scratch behind its ears or some such thing, don’tcha know? Zane was calling after me. It’s friendly! Honest!

No, I don’t know thankyouverymuch. Nor was I waiting to find out.

You know, looking back all these years later, I could draw parallels to all sorts of things in life that have happened since then. I think I’ve learned how to wait and scratch behind the ears of things that used to frighten me, and keep on walking across that grassy pasture.

3 Comments so far
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I think I’d have jumped the fence with you! I have a co-worker who has a draft horse. When the animal is ten or twelve times as heavy as you? It does not have to have evil intentions to do you harm. (My coworker is recovering from a pet-care-related broken foot at the moment…)

Comment by RobinH 04.02.08 @ 5:18 am

I’ve been chased by’s not pretty. I was close to the gate when they noticed or I’d not be here to tell. Sensible fear is healthy!!!

Comment by Toni 04.02.08 @ 7:34 am

What a great story! Unfortunately, our neighbor’s bull wasn’t so friendly, and didn’t want HIS ears scratched.

Comment by Channon 04.02.08 @ 9:35 am

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