Wednesday, May 20, 2009

May Day - Back from Vacation Day

Greetings Readers

I am going to recap some moments while I was on vacation…

This is the first sighting of my first lizard of 2009.

I did not think it was proper to show you the cow that died within hours before me showing up at the Ranch so that is why I am posting a picture of something living. Also, I would hate for any of you Ranchers try to claim this dead cow as yours and try to write it off on next year’s taxes as a loss.

Damn Readers.

I have not even reached the main gate of the Ranch when I saw that we had some work to do ahead of us.

Usually upon arriving at the Ranch I go to the room that I stay in when I come up for vacation and get situated. Also, we unload our groceries and whatnot before leaving Albuquerque. More often than not I sometimes just lay down to catch some sleep after unloading. Not this time.

I unloaded my stuff and then it was time to get the cow buried.

I do not know what other Ranchers do with their dead animals, but I have seen them basically do nothing. Meaning, they leave the animals lay as they died. And there is a reason why. You Readers, you try moving a dead horse, a dead cow, or a dead bull. Dead weight. I will tell you it is almost impossible to move by hand.

And us Ranchers in this part of New Mexico do not own tractors. Tractors are kind of useless in our part of the state – not to mention nothing really to justify owning a tractor at the elevation we are at.

Unlike our neighbors we bury our dead animals. Such as the horse who passed away the past six months or so. Let me tell what is even sadder – it is not even our horse. We were taking care of the horse for a family member and the horse has past away from old age. Not since the horse died has our family member even inquired about his horse is doing.

Well, their horse died outside our corral and there was no way to move that 1-ton plus horse. Also, the ground was solid and frozen. That being said, we just covered the horse with dirt and now there is a mound outside our corral.

Cows, Bulls what not do not really look for a place to die at. If they do die they die right where they are. Unlike some animals that know death is near they try to go the place they know.

I digress. I changed clothes and then headed off to where my Dad had already dragged the cow to a nearby arroyo for burial. My dad hooked up the Ford, the tow cable and the dragged the cow to a nearby arroyo.

I shortly arrived where my Father towed the cow and then we discussed where to put the cow. We located a spot in the arroyo and then tried rolling the cow. No fucking way. That cow was heavy with dead weight. Heavy. We pulled and pulled as hard as we dared, but the cow did not move an inch. So, My Dad hopped into the Truck and then drove to the other side of the arroyo. We were going to have to hook up the towing strap and then drag the cow into the arroyo from the other side of the arroyo.

Ten minutes later we got the cow into the arroyo and now was the time to place rocks over the dead cow. Reason being, we do not want any coyotes, wild dogs or black birds to ravage the dead cow carcass.

We could not use small rocks, but large rocks. Coyotes and wild dogs are able to move small rocks when they are hungry enough for food. So, we had to go and get some large rocks and bring them to the arroyo.

Oh man oh man. That was tough. All three of us. My father, my Mother and I walked here and there looking for large rocks and stones. My Mother had the wheel barrel while my Father and I had to carry our rocks to the Arroyo.

About 10 to 15 minutes pass when I decided to head over to the area that my Dad was picking up rocks from. I see that he moved a rock and then steps back. I kind of looked at him and decided to help him get a hand on the large rock.

I position myself on one side of the rock. And then I hear my Dad calmly say

“Watch out for the snake.”

Readers, in our part of the United States when you say snake you automatically know what to expect. Rattlesnake. There is no other snake that you can really count to see or expect. No Copper mouths, no Water Moccasins snakes, no Gardner snake. Just Rattlesnakes and the Diamondback Rattlesnakes.

Fuck me Readers. I fucking moved like a football wide receiver going for the game-winning pass. I zigged this way and zagged that way. I know that a snake is not fast, but my thinking at that moment I heard my Father say “Watch out for the Snake” was to run and run not in a straight line.

I can fucking laugh now, but at that moment I was worrying about not getting bit - I was scairt. In the area where we reside any snakebite could be fatal if not treated in time. We are literally in the middle of nowhere and the only help is the flight for life, via helicopter. Otherwise, after getting bit by a rattlesnake you have a very long drive to the nearest hospital / clinic for an antidote / treatment.

Readers, I moved like my ass was on fire. I was worried since I literally did not know where the snake was since I did not see where it was, until I was about 15 to 20 yards south of where my Dad said that statement to me.

I finally looked back and saw my Father almost in the same spot looking at where the snake was. Baby Rattler, pink and resting under the large rock. Baby Rattlers are the worst since apparently they are more poisonous that an adult Rattler. Even more of a reason for to run like I was running from five O. Hah hah. Again Readers, I can laugh and make this humorous, but when this actually happened it was not funny.

The snake was eventually killed since we could not afford to lose a cow to a snakebite by a cow accidentally stepping on a Rattlesnake. The snake was close to the area where our cows, heifers and calfes gather so we had to be sure to get rid of the danger of losing cattle to a Rattlesnake.

Readers, My father would never put me in harm or in danger. And with him knowing this particular son he knew that I would fucking move like my ass was on fire. He was right and there is no resentment or anything from me to him. Damn, I saw the smile on his face and then registered that he had just woken up the Rattler and knew there was no immediate danger. Thank goodness, I can run and have a few Marathons under my belt.

However, for the next 30 minutes I was scarred and scared. I was being very, very careful on moving any rocks I saw and needed. I moved, lifted the rock and then listened very, very carefully for that unmistakable rattle of a Rattlesnake.

Again, I can laugh and write humorously about this, but at that moment in time I was like a scared bitch - waiting to be slapped, in a manner of speaking.

Eventually we got all the rocks we needed for the burial of the cow.

Not to leave you Readers on a sad note, but let me tell you Readers, there is nothing sadder than seeing and hearing a calf standing in the area where it’s Mother died. The calf mooing and waiting for its Mother to come. Sad to see and sadder to hear the cow’s mooing in the dark of a moonless night in New Mexico.

Until the next time

Daryl Charley
The Fallen Athlete

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