A Million To One Odds...Times Five: True Stories of Surviving Life as a Modern Day Cowboy with Humor Intact

A Million To One Odds...Times Five: True Stories of Surviving Life as a Modern Day Cowboy with Humor Intact

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780966089028
Publisher: Too Lazy For You Livestock & Literary
Publication date: 01/15/2003
Pages: 164
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.38(d)

Read an Excerpt

One thing about cowboying for a living is that you never know what kind of circumstances you?ll be working under, especially if you are working in country where winter is tough, and the ranchers are tough enough (or dumb enough) to do their calving when winter is at its hardest. Besides fighting the elements, mad cows, and half-broke horses, it seems like the majority of these outfits also like to run on a skeleton crew. Consequently, one may get less sleep in a week than the average person gets in a night. This unique combination of fighting the elements and unruly animals, coupled with the ancient Chinese torture of sleep deprivation, can result in things happening that normally wouldn?t . . . sometimes those things even string together.

It began when the time came for me to have a change in scenery, and I called my friend Floyd to see if he knew of any openings.  As it happened, he was looking for someone himself. He was running a little 900-cow outfit with no help, and calving season was fast approaching.  Doubting my sanity by agreeing to be half the crew, I headed on down. Once I got there, Floyd let me know he had found a guy who would feed a few days a week to take some of the strain off of us. Since we would be splitting up the night shift, he said it wouldn?t be too bad. Then, halfway through calving the heifers, the weather decided to take a change to the negative?like negative thirty-five degrees with fifty-mile-per-hour winds dropping 10 the wind chill to somewhere around that of dry ice. This was also about the time the main cow herd was to start calving.

Plan ?A? was to calve them out in the hills.  This shouldn?t have been a bad plan. There were plenty of places a cow could calve out of the wind, and calving commenced with no problems. Then we lost three cows from prolapsed uteruses because they decided to see how much effort they could put into the calving process by pushing the calf out uphill. That caused Floyd to decide on plan ?B,? which meant we would bring the cows in closer, cut out the springers, the cows ready to calve in the next week or two, and calve them in the pens, like a bunch of heifers.

Now the weather was giving us a little bit of a break. It had warmed up into the positive teens, and winds had died down to between 20 and 30 miles per hour. It was dang near tropical, other than the spitting snow. Adding to the relaxed and romantic atmosphere of the task at hand was the fact we hadn?t been getting much sleep because of the work/weather relationship. If Floyd and I had combined the total amount of sleep we had between us in the previous week, it might have amounted to as much as 9 hours, but just barely.

To make things a little easier on us we decided to let all of the pairs, cows and their calves, drop back since we would just be bringing them back into the same pasture. Floyd?s wife Wallaby loaded their infant son into the 11 pickup and stayed on the road at the bottom of the pasture. Her job was to fill out ear tags for the newborn calves and let the tags dry on the defroster so that the ink would not freeze/fade and be totally unreadable at weaning time.

The first couple of calves went pretty easily.  I was riding a colt, which was working well, and the mothers weren?t too protective. The third one went a little differently though. This mother hit a lope down to the road. As we neared the road, I brought up my rope, and hung the hondo on my spur. ?Bout a millionto-one odds on that happening; I have never even heard of anyone doing that before. Of course the rope wouldn?t come off, and every time I tried to reach down to take it off the colt started shying way. So I pulled up and stepped off. I was riding a new custom-made saddle that fit me like a glove, except for the stirrup leathers.  Now I?ve been handed the moniker of ?No Legs? a couple of times because my legs are so short, but the saddle maker musta figured I?d get drunk and ten feet tall because the leathers had enough extra that I could let the stirrups out enough to fit some NBA basketball player. When I stepped off to remove the rope from my spur, my toe sorta hooked on the excess stirrup leather and pulled it into the stirrup, hanging my foot up. So there I?m standing, my right spur in my rope and my left foot hung up in the stirrup when the calf ran through the fence. Luckily the colt stood still while I untangled myself. About the time I got free of my miscomBOBulation, the calf was trying to get back through the fence.

 

As I turned to see if I could beat the cow to its calf, I tripped on my reins and dropped my rope. Scrambling through the snow, I managed to tackle the calf just as it came through the fence. With its mother pawin?, bellerin? and blowin? snot in my face, I dragged the calf back to my colt, jerked down a piggin? string and tied it down. Standing up to go give Wallaby the number, I tripped once again . . . this time as the belt on my chaps broke, and they fell to my knees. Needless to say, Wallaby was parked right where she could witness the whole chain of events. It took her several minutes to collect herself enough to be able to fill out the ear tag without bursting out in laughter again. It should have been embarrassing, but how can you be embarrassed when you manage to get your job done while at the same time entertaining someone so much without killing yourself?

What People are Saying About This

Lee Pitts

Bob Kinford is an oxymoron....A one-of-a-kind cowboy who knows how to write....He ought to be preserved for posterity

Foreword

By Lee Pitts

Bob Kinford is an oxymoron. No, I am not making a judgment on Bob mental capacity.

Im told an oxymoron is a combination of contradictory words like dry lake. Bob is a cowboy writer, two words seldom seen together in the same sentence. Bob.s publishing
empire, Too Lazy For You Livestock and Literary Company, is also an oxymoron and may be the only for-profit enterprise in America combining literature and cows.
Writing and riding is a rare combination. Whereas cowboying is mostly physical, writing is occasionally mental. Put a cowboy afoot and he gets lost faster than a day-old calf in a
roundup. To write you must read and it has been my experience that most cowboys read only when forced to in the powder room. Put a cowboy in front of a computer screen and
he starts quivering and his eyes get as big as saucers. Sure, any cowboy worth his buckle and boots can tell a good story, but actually write it down? That.s another matter entirely.
That.s why Bob Kinford is so unique. Normally cowboys have better things to do than jot down a story after coming in from a grueling day. Not only do they not have the
time, most also lack the desire to put on paper what they.re thinking. The fact that Bob took the time to commit all these great stories to print says a lot about his social
life, or lack of one.

Bob says he writes about true lies: Yet another oxymoron. But anyone who has ever looked at the back end of a cow knows what Bob means. The stories in the pages that
follow have to be true because nobody could make up what Bob calls the miscomBOBulations in this book. They are stories inspired by an original event but are
made funnier by Bob.s storytelling ability. I first met Bob at a bull sale in Yerington, Nevada. Now, you really have to like cattle and cattle people to spend a Saturday at a
bull sale in Yerington. We hit it off immediately and not just because we.re in the same line of work. We both told each other a few lies and promised to swap our latest books in
the mail. I was a bit skeptical at first because, although he definitely looked the part of a cowboy and knew the right bureaucrats to cuss, Bob also knew about things like web
pages, nouns and verbs. When I got Bob.s first book, Cowboy Romance, I was happy for two reasons: It contained no cowboy poetry, a field that is rapidly
being overrun by plumbers and pharmaceutical salesmen who wear cowboy hats with feathers in them and think that because they can rhyme democrat North Platte they are
the second coming of Baxter Black.

Secondly, I could tell that Bob Kinford was the real deal and not an oxymoronic, original reproduction. He's  a cowboy of the non-drugstore variety who writes about what
he knows. He has ridden rank bulls, strung fence, calved heifers, worked for day wages and received at least part of his salary each month in beef. He. got the right letters after
his name too: not PhD, MS or BS ,but initials like NM and NV, places he temporarily called home and lived in a state of cowboy. First time authors are often one-shotwonders
because they use up all their good subject matter in their first book. Im happy to report after reading this volume that Bob did not use up all his good stuff in his first
outing. After the success of his first book Bob did not give up on the cowboy way of life to become an armchair pundit, nor did he choose an easier lifestyle and spend the rest
of his life indoors writing about how he remembered the cowboy life to be. No, Bob remained a cowboy because he knew his success as a writer was based on gathering
fresh material. And this book is full of it. And I mean that in a kind way.

Bob Kinford is what the bureaucrats he despises would call an endangered species. A one-of-a-kind cowboy who knows how to write. He ought to be preserved for posterity.
With this book the cowboy part of him will be.

 

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A Million To One Odds...Times Five 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Think you have had a bad day at the office? Try having surviving five long shot mishaps (including falling on your face twice) in less than 90 seconds! This collection of true stories out of a modern day ranch cowboy's life will make you appreciate your cubicle!