As a kid, you flank the calves; you grab them, throw them and
hold them down. This is conducive to abrasions, muscle strain, and
involuntarily changing the color of your shirt.
As you get older, you get to handle the branding iron, then move up
to giving shots. After that comes earmarking. When you reach the
pinnacle of branding, that is, when you own the calves, then you get
to rope the calves and drag them up to the fire.
It is a swirling cauldron of heat and hooves, excited cowdogs and
bawling cows. There is the smell of manure and singed hair and sweat
and corral dust.
At the Rafter E, I wielded a syringe as the youngsters got their
teeth rattled by the heavy stuff.
Wasn't the first time I’d given the shots, though. Once during a
branding at the Triangle Cross, I was about to immunize a calf when
the calf jumped and I stuck the needle into my thumb.
Hurt like the dickens, of course, but at least it was effective. I
haven't had Black Leg since.
[Text from file received from
Ol' Jimmy Dollar
is Slim Randles' first children's book. The book is for kids
K-3rd grades and is even better when parents read it with children.
Ol' Jimmy Dollar makes for sweet dreams and if you have a dog
even better. Available now on Amazon.