Current Progressive Cattle digital edition

Baxter Black

Baxter Black is a cowboy poet, author, vaquero philosophizer, left-handed roper and former large animal veterinarian.


The cow went down in the pasture.
I took it as a sign.
Like lightning striking my saddle
horn or guppies in the wine.

I’ll have to pull the calf right here.
But it isn’t raining hard.
It’s just too bad that my slicker
Is still back in the yard.

I taught my horse to ground tie.
Like havin’ an extra man.
Now why did he run off like that?
I really had a plan.

Thank goodness I’ve got a catch rope.
Whoa, darlin’, just lay still ...
You four-footed Double Whopper!
Your next stop is the grill!

Stay outta the blinkin’ cattails!
At least they break the breeze.
For now she’s stuck in the quagmire;
Me, I’m up to my knees.

I’ve got both feet and I’m pullin’.
She’s flat out on her side.
It’s a water-cooled delivery.
He’s comin’ with the tide.

I feel like a scuba diver;
He hangs up at the hip.
I get his head on my shoulder.
It’s hard to keep my grip,

He’s slick as a newborn porpoise.
I heave him on the shore
And plop, right there in the water;
Just glad there ain’t no more.

The cow, relieved of her burden,
Rises outta the crud
And walks the length of my body,
Mashin’ me into the mud.

My hat is the only thing floating.
I’m soaked from head to toe.
The cow is lickin’ her baby
And watchin’ me below.

I wait till he’s up and suckin’,
Then slip out like a mouse.
And thank the Lord that I’m only
Half a mile from the house.  end mark

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I confess to not owning a tractor. I have plenty of friends nearby with tractors. But, in a lapse of good judgment, I borrowed one to brush hog a patch of weeds. Experienced farmers, even 8-year-old farm kids, know you always drive a tractor thumbs up. I didn’t remember.

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We all have great memories of “the best party.”

I had a party. It lasted 48 hours. I lost my socks, my dignity, two days of my life, six pingpong balls and four pounds.

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I was just about to cull the cow
when the boss sees me swingin’ the gate.
“Hold it there, Doc, for a minute yet, ’cause I’ve not quite decided her fate.

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