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A short story by Emma Carpenter.

No Place To Park - Page 2 of 3

......continued from page 1

Bill and Peaceful got her pulled completely down the hill and almost to the gate of the trap when that rope broke, too. It snapped with a “kerpow” that echoed against the low hill, sounding like a gun going off a couple inches from my ear. She was free again, two broken loops hanging from her horns. Still sitting down, I reached behind me and turned the fire off on the grill completely.

Spooky Spots stood right where she was for a second, and I think she was trying to decide whether to head for open country or take a run at Bill’s horse. She didn’t do either, though, because Crock came running up from behind her. He had put cows through the trap gate before, and he had a logical plan of getting behind her and driving her to the gate.

When the cow saw Crock from the corner of her eye she spun around to meet him, and lowered her head to threaten him not to come any closer. Crock, who had been running at her heels with a full head of steam, couldn’t stop. Sliding on his haunches he slid right up to Spooky Spots’ face just as she dropped her head. When she raised it up again, one of her horns had slipped between his collar and his neck.

I don’t know who was more surprised, the dog or the cow. She threw her head up high, a 70 pound Australian Shepherd earring dangling from one horn. Crock just hung there, front paws held up with a “What the…?” look all over his face. He rolled his eyes left, right, up and down to figure out where he was at the same time he was trying to figure out just how the heck he was going to get out of there.

A new furry fashion accessory wasn’t something Spooky Spots wanted. She whipped her head down and to the side to get rid of it, which slammed Crock into the ground. As soon as he hit she raised her head high again, standing him upside down in a smooth, high arc going the other direction before smashing him into the ground on the other side of her head.

Bill and I loved that dog, and seeing him being smashed by that cow was awful. I jumped off the steps and started running toward Spooky Spots and Crock, waving the meat fork in my hand and yelling at the cow. When I had taken off so had Bill, charging Spooky Spots on his mare. When the cow saw the mare coming at her she turned her head, and the sideways movement flung Crock off her horn. He flew a long way through the air, then landed in a ball that rolled ten or twelve feet before he stopped. The cow tore off over the hill again, and was out of sight in three gigantic steps.

Bill got to Crock first, and by the time I got there Crock was sitting still so he could really enjoy all the sympathy. He was unhurt and wasn’t even acting like he was upset, as though being the lash in a Brahma game of "crack the whip" was just the thing to break up a boring afternoon.

After we found out Crock was ok, we went back to the house where Bill turned his mare out and I finished cooking the steaks. We had a nice supper before Bill caught a fresh horse, Hawg. We put Hawg in the trailer and drove into the pasture to see where Spooky Spots had gone.

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As we drove out slowly across the pasture Bill and I were up front and Crock was in the back, hanging his over the side and peering around the cab to get a good look. Spooky Spots was toward the back of the pasture and as we drove into sight she turned, lifted her head, and stared right through the windshield at us. She was not a stupid cow. She had seen trucks and trailers before, and knew full well that horses that chased and caught cows got out of trailers.

I really, really, thought this was going to be the part where she would run off in a hell-bent-for-leather stampede of one. Then, after chasing her for days before we saw her again, we would wind up apologizing to a half-dozen neighbors as we fixed the holes in their fences.

But it turns out Spooky Spots wasn’t in the mood to run. She was either tired of being pushed around, or she wasn’t going to leave her calf. Either way, as she looked through the windshield she took a step toward us, lowering and shaking her head, the two broken ropes still hanging from her horns. When we kept coming she started a stiff-legged, high-headed walk right for us.

“Is she crazy?” I asked Bill.

“We knew that going in,” he answered. When the cow broke out of a stiff-legged walk and into a still-legged trot, he down shifted to go slower than we already were. When she broke into a stiff-legged lope, still glaring at us right through the windshield, he put it into first, crawling forward so slowly that the speedometer needle wasn’t moving.

When she got about fifty feet from us, still running, she cocked her head and aimed a horn at the front of the truck.

“You gotta be kidding,” I said. My legs suddenly went stiff a and shoved my back against the back of the seat. “How can she know about radiators? She’s gonna take out the radiator!”

“We got a grill guard,” Bill answered. The last thing he added before she hit was, “And this is gonna test it pretty good.”

When Spooky Spots hit the truck she was running full speed, but there was barely a sound. I expected to see radiator fluid spew all over, or to see a 1200 pound spotted, horned, humped, big eared cow roll over the hood for the windshield. Or something. Instead, there was a hardly noticeable thumping sound, a brief pause, and Bill and I were both looking straight out the windshield at nothing but blue sky.

I looked at Bill. He looked at me. We looked out the windshield again and saw light puffy clouds moving by. I opened my door and looked down, then closed it gently.

“The ground’s way down there,” I said, like he hadn’t figured that out. Spooky Spots had slid right under the truck, and we had parked a 1 ton 4-wheel drive Chevy hooked to a 7 X 20 livestock trailer with a horse in it on top of her.

While we were still watching the clouds go by I grabbed the back of the seat. Bill leaned forward so I could pull it up enough to reach behind it. I felt my way around a couple of ropes and a tire tool until I found a rifle and pulled it out.

Continued on page 3......


No Place To Park - Page 1

No Place To Park - Page 2

No Place To Park - Page 3


About The Author

Emma Carpenter and her husband Bill are the owners of the website. Emma is the administrator of the website, and when not writing articles for other areas of CowboyWay she enjoys writing the occasional short story.

For many years Bill and Emma maintained a small cow/calf herd while also doing day work for area ranchers in the Kansas Flint Hills. The Carpenters are retired from Carpenter Rodeo Company, a family owned rodeo company that put on rodeos in Kansas and Oklahoma for over 40 years. They still own a small cow/calf herd.


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