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A short story by Emma Carpenter.

No Place To Park - Page 3 of 3

......continued from page 2

“Poor cow,” I said, hating to know how she must be suffering.

"I know,” Bill said. “She’s a pain in the butt but she always weaned a big calf."

Slowly, he shifted into reverse and let out the clutch. As he rolled off the cow I put my hand on the latch and got ready to step out.

As soon as the front wheels hit the ground I pulled the latch. Fortunately, I was still looking forward out the windshield as I did, and my fingers stopped in mid pull. There was a cow looking through the windshield at me.

“Wow, now that’s a good cow,” Bill said, his voice filled with a admiration. There was a dime-sized piece of hair missing from the bridge of her nose. Other than that, she looked healthy enough to take on a semi.

As she stared back at us she started to ram the grill guard. Wham! She hit it with the front of her head as hard as she could, then paused to look through the windshield at us. Wham! She backed up about two inches and hit it again.

“Why isn’t she running off?” I asked.

“Because if you had just been parked on, you’d be kind of cranky, too,” he answered. He leaned forward, and I put the rifle back behind the seat.

That was when I noticed the ropes. The two broken ropes were both still around her horns, and one of them was stretched tight toward the ground.

“We must be parked on one of the ropes,” I said, pleased that something good came from driving on top of the cow. “The rope must be so tight she can’t hardly move. I’ll take a look and make sure.”

I didn’t step out of the truck as much as I melted out. I opened the door just enough to slip both my feet out at the same time, then slid straight down to the grass and looked underneath the running board toward the front of the truck. In a second, I stood back up.

“Are we parked on the rope?” Bill asked. I shook my head.

“No,” I told him. “The rope’s wrapped around the front axle several times and tangled.” I reached into my left pocket for a pocket knife. “I’m going to have to cut her loose.” I dropped to me knees and started to crawl under the truck.

“Wait a second,” I heard him tell me. “Don’t cut the rope ‘till I tell you.”

From where I was under the truck I could hear his door open and saw his boots hit the ground. The boots walked to the back of the truck where I heard him say “Stay there” to Crock as he lowered the tailgate. Then I heard the trailer gate open. From under the back of the trailer I could see Hawg’s four, giant feathered fetlocks appear, then Bill’s boots disappeared when he got on.

Then the legs of the horse came forward, and went around to the front of the truck. A loop came down and snared Spooky Spot’s back heels, then the rope slowly tightened. Spooky Spots sank gradually to the ground as Hawg and Bill pulled her heels, stretching her out on her side between Bill’s saddle horn and the front axle of the truck.

“Now?” I said, inching forward on my stomach.

“Ok,” he said.

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I wiggled forward a little further, my left arm stretched forward with my knife in my hand. I started sawing on the first part of the rope I could reach. Spooky Spots’ face was about a foot and a half from mine, and neither one of us was happy about being close enough to count each other’s hairs. She rolled her eyes at me, and kept trying to tilt her head to hit me with a horn. Fortunately, being stuck between the ground and the front end of a truck is pretty cramped quarters for a big-horned cow head. One horn kept getting stuck in the ground while the other one couldn’t get past the front axle.

“You ok down there?” Bill asked.

“Yea,” I puffed, getting winded from sawing at a rope I could barely reach. I was holding onto the very back of the knife, and my sawing motion was only about an inch long. I could have reached the rope a lot better if I had crawled forward a little more, but I was already more nose-to-nose with that cow than I wanted to be. With every short little back-and-forth motion, Spooky Spots would snort at me, roll her eyes, and bang her horn on the front axle. Finally, I cut clear through the rope.

“Ok,” I called. “That did it.” In the next second Spooky Spots was sliding backwards on her side as Hawg drug her off by her heels.

I scooted backwards on my stomach and elbows, and by the time I could get to my feet Bill and Hawg had her dragged clear of the truck.

“I’ll pull the trailer up,” I told Bill, heading for the driver’s side.

“No, wait a second,” he answered, then stood in his stirrup’s a little to see over the cab of the truck.

“Crock?” Bill called to the dog, who was hanging over the side of the truck watching everything. “Crock, come.”

Crock went to the lowered tailgate and hopped down. He trotted quickly to go and sit beside Bill and Hawg.

“You owe her one.” Bill looked down from the saddle and spoke to him. “Go ahead if you want.”

Crock’s head tilted sideways when he heard Bill say “Go ahead” and he looked up at Bill and back at the cow, stretched out on her side and held by her heels. Then he jumped forward and bit her on the ribs. That seemed to be a lot of fun. Then he hopped over her and bit her on the back.

“One more,” Bill told him. “One more and call it even.” Crock paused, and looked at the cow from head to toe. He finally decided on a spot just at the top of her tail, and bit her again.

“That’s good,” Bill told him. “Get in the truck.” Crock hopped back over the cow, trotted to the tailgate, and jumped in. When I drove the truck and trailer up to get the trailer closer to the cow, Crock was hanging his head over the side looking at her as we passed. I think he was laughing a little bit, too.

While Bill kept holding the cow by her heels I threw a head loop on her then fed the rope along the inside of the trailer while I walked along on the outside. I dallied several times around one of the braces, and when Bill loosened her heels Spooky Spots jumped up and literally ran inside the trailer. We slammed the back trailer gate, then pushed her to the front and shut the center gate on her so she was locked in front. After we loaded Hawg into the back we got hooks (long iron rods with a “J” shape in the end) and reached through the sides of the trailer to snare the ropes off of her head.

We kept Spooky Spots for a long time after that. When we were sorting calves that fall I put her snorting, sideways running heifer calf in the “sell” pen. Bill and Crock sorted her right back out and we kept that little darlin’ for a cow for a long time, too. Happily for all of us, we never parked on top of either of them, or any other cow, again.


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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