Lucky

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine, Dave Baral, went in with me to buy some calves from Lev Arklin at his ranch next to Big Rock Creek. Out of the bunch, I picked the Longhorn with the spots and attitude. Only about eighty pounds, they were still a handful. Just before loading them for transport, naturally, mine makes a break for it. Before catching it, a couple of guys at the ranch had it in their minds to just shoot the little prick. Some pretty good shots missed him four times. He ended up trotting back to his pals. I named him Lucky. Once a prick, always a prick has been my experience with troublemakers. Lucky filled that bill. He hated dogs. As he grew larger, he was able to kick a dog farther and farther. Steers can kick sideways, different from a horse. Dogs that have been used to hassling horses, find this out the hard way. He once nailed a Doberman so hard, it did two full somersaults before hitting the side of the barn…When the dog jumped up, Lucky was on top of him like Dempsey would do, nailing him with his head as the dog staggered up. Good thing for the dog he didn’t have horns yet. He literally knocked the crap out of that dog. It had lost it in┬ámidair and its own launched bowels sprayed across my freshly painted barn in an odd pattern. Dots and dashs of dog crap. It was almost as bad as the time my Bullmastiff, Dozer, nailed me with coyote waste. Dozer had him by the stomach and was shaking the coyote like it was a doll. As I ran up with a garden hose to break it up, one shake gave me a shot out ot that coyotes ass that hit me so hard and fast, I couldn’t do a damn thing about it. The spray started around my navel on my sweatshirt, then, caught me evenly all the way up to my forehead. Yep, in the mouth and one of my eyes…Lucky ends up at the Haunted Ranch, a few miles away, up a canyon with a spring that bubbles out of the ground. A rare thing in Acton. The spring is how we used to scare tourists. A friend used to give trail rides from her dude ranch in Aqua Dulce to city folks. Sometimes I would lead one. Being a kid, I would make all sorts of stuff up to make the ride more fun. I changed my stories all the time, but, the gist of it is, the horses wouldn’t go up the canyon because of all the bees covering that spring well head. There was a pipe feeding from it down to a small pond, so, the horses could water there. If you headed one up into the tight canyon, the bees would attack. All of my friend’s horses knew all about those bees, so, after one of my ‘they were all murdered’ type tales, I would add, “Go on ahead if you think I’m lying. Even the horses are spooked of what hides up there!” I would then take the closest cute girl’s halter and start to lead her horse on to the trail. The horse would toss me loose and get wild eyed, every time. It’s also why I was fired. Anyhow, the steers all loved it up there just below the spring. They grew tall and wide. Of all of them, Lucky had the horns. About forty inches wide and hooked on the ends. With Longhorns, the females have the wider rack. They bunch the calves in a circle, then put their rear ends against them, facing whatever threatens them head to head with the other cows. The bulls? Their horns are for one thing only. Killing anything that pisses them off. Longhorns fight for keeps. Especially in mating season. Their horns are stocky and hooked. Pointed on the ends. Just like the ones Lucky grew…Its time to take them to the butchers. A good butcher will quarter it, then, take a quarter for his services. You’ll have so many steaks, rips, roasts and hamburger, you won’t miss it, take my word for it. The guts alone will fill a Toyota pickup bed. Amazingly enough, coyotes and ravens can clear a pile you thought was huge in about a week. Or, backhoe and fill over. I say let the animals get a break. Lucky and his pals were going to another place to be bumped off, so, Baral hired some cowboys to load them onto a trailer for their last ride. I went along to say goodbye to Lucky. He didn’t like me after the ball removal ordeal, another story, but, he loved Leo. Leo would ride him all the time. These men who had chased him into a rounded steel pen of round rails, he didn’t like at all. Not having horses didn’t help. Also, they brought a long horse trailer for transport. Not a ‘stock’ trailer. A big mistake. Getting Lucky into the trailer was amazingly easy. He ran right in. As one of the cowboys went to swing the horse trailer door shut, Lucky did a buck into the air since the ceiling was for horses heads, spun in mid air, then, Lucky put it into gear with his head down as soon as his hoofs hit the trailer deck. As the man tried to latch the door, Lucky punched his head into it at about seventy miles an hour. It took the door right into the man, knocking him cold as it flung him backwards into the steel railings. From his straight shot out of the trailer, Lucky took leaping bounds straight for the steel railings. Putting down his head at the last second, his horns went in the gap between rails. His momentum and power, took him right through, bending the rails like they were copper. Now outside of the round pen, Lucky leaped, twisted and turned like he had an invisible rider on him, then took off in the thick brush. Nothing but the Sierra Pelonas, then Yosemite ahead of him. He did it. He got away! He sure lived up to his name…

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