When it comes to living a life of freedom and responsibility, with a bit of hard character and fierce pride, it turns out bulls, horses and cowboys have a lot in common. When your life revolves around an honest days work, taking care of your animals, providing for your loved ones and enjoying the freedom to ride on toward the horizon – well, I’m pretty sure that’s what being a cowboy is all about.
I was reminded of this when, by chance, I heard something that I couldn’t believe. Let me fill you in:
I was on the road. Sometimes, I get to travel. I rarely get a say as to where I’m going. My handler or Fred will lure me into this metal box on wheels with fresh dandelions. Of course, I could be stubborn (and sometimes I am) and not go, but I think we all know I’d do just about anything for some dandelions.
I was traveling last week to another ranch to ‘do my thing’. If you don’t know, I’m a stud. Best known stud round my parts and probably yours too! I doubt there’s a Brahman Bull that isn’t of my seed for miles around.
What was I talking about again? Oh, right.
So, I was traveling along with my handler this particular time. We made a stop for some gas (which smells terrible by the way) and I overheard a few folks talking. They were talking about how the way of the cowboy was dying out. Now, my ears perked right up on that notion. It amazes me what you 2-legs blurt out sometimes. How could anyone think such a thing?
Being a cowboy is a proud tradition. It isn’t all about riding horses and bucking bulls. Working a ranch or being a handler doesn’t quite describe it either. It’s a feeling in your gut and a way you choose to look at life. I guess not everyone sees the real way of life a cowboy lives. Remember when they were all buckaroos?
There are a lot of things I come across in this world that I don‘t respect, make fun of or just plain ol don’t give a hoot about. This isn’t one of them. Let me say it plain and clear: the way of the cowboy will never die out. Not as long as people hold dear the ideas of freedom, respect, responsibility and honor.
Getting up in the morning with the sun and living with the land, making it work for you as you spend your days rustling, hogtying and herding. A cowboy treats the animals he handles with respect, knowing they are what help him through to tomorrow.
A cowboy listens to his instincts, explores and cherishes the freedom that is his birthright and has a strong sense of what’s right. You can’t take something like that away and neither can it die out. It’s just a way of life that will continue as long as there are horses, bulls, ranches and the like in this world.
Now, I believe four legs are better than two and that a set of horns beats a set of hands any day. But that don’t diminish my respect for real cowboys. I wouldn’t let any other type be my handler.
Maybe I got a little carried away here, reacting to that random comment on the road, but sometimes you two legs think too much and just need to be told.
Long live the cowboy and his way of life.
Now get me my afternoon feed.
PS -We’ll miss you James Arness.
PSS – You guys a fan of Tom T. Hall? Then you’ll love this: