Julie Carter

Welcome to the West as I see it

Within these pages, you will find the end result of a lot of living and laughing, finally put between book covers to share with the world. A laugh is never a better laugh than when it can be shared and shared again.

I hope you choose to own a copy of my book, Cowgirl Sass and Savvy. It is a selection of some of the first stories individually published in a syndicated column by the same name that I have written weekly since 2002. They offer you a peek into ranch and cowboy life that isn't what you see as you drive by or what you read in the glossy slick magazines selling cowboy clothes, furniture and adventures.

And most of all, I hope the stories bring you, at the very least, a smile and a good laugh. No better gift could I offer you.

I also offer you a glimpse of this rural area as I see it through my camera lens. Shop the Mercantile page for posters that I have combined my photography with words I have written. Also there are calendars showcasing some of my favorite photos from this year. A link to my landscape photography website will let you browse through what I see when I travel down the dirt roads of the West.

Julie's Weblog

May 5, 2008

Aristocrats of the range

Filed under: General — Julie Carter @ 7:01 pm

Cowboys are the aristocrats of all wage earners. As such, there are two or three things which are absolutely essential for their well being: well-trained, prestigious looking horses, a good hat and a good rope.

Dan had the horse department covered with Slats. And he was following Tex’s advice about roping.

Since the last problem had been roping his heel horse’s front feet occasionally, Dan went to see what Tex had to say.

Tex advised getting a rope his horse could see and then he wouldn’t step in the loop. So Dan went down to the feed store, looked over all the brightly colored twines and came out with one of the new Roper Vision ropes – a glow-in-the-dark lime green.

This iridescent wonder came with a pair of matching sunglasses, the theory being that the roper would better focus on his rope when wearing them.

Dan didn’t follow this logic as it he wasn’t the one having trouble seeing a regular colored rope, but most definitely, Slats wasn’t going to get the sunglasses.

He decided that a little pasture roping might help Slats out with his difficulty of stepping into a heel loop. Tim came to help him out. The project was not a wasted effort. They needed to doctor a few yearlings who had picked up something at the sale barn.

At the pasture they rode through all the new cattle slowly and doctored each one who needed a shot. Job well tended to they decided to practice with Dan’s new rope a little. The owner of the cattle had just driven up to the pasture fence and was just watching the entire operation, but the cowboys weren’t aware of their audience.

After watching the operation through the initial doctoring, the cow boss walked out to the ropers and asked, “What you boys doing now?”

“Why, we’re roping and doctoring the sick cattle.”

The owner allowed he had seen quite a bit of roping, but he hadn’t seen any shots given.

Dan, quick with his wit, answered sincerely, “Last night I soaked my rope in a bucket of penicillin and there’s no need to give a shot. And, besides that, we been looking at these cattle and thought we might need to check and see if some of them had a bone in their leg.”

Good help is hard to find, so begrudgingly, the cow boss decided to tend to some of his other business.

Change of seasons will dictate straw hat time. While he was putting his paycheck in circulation with the rope, Dan had picked out a brand new straw too.

He really hated to part with the extra money, but there were some awful pretty girls at the team ropings lately, and he knew that one of the secrets to good looks is a good hat. They are pretty hard to get to fitting right, and he was wearing it a little to get the sweat band broke in before going to the Saturday arena roping.

This morning’s job was to do a little tractor shredding in the horse trap. Dan got the shredder hooked up, was moving right along with the blades cutting down the old grass neatly when a little puff of wind hit. Lifted that new straw right off his head and next thing he heard was “Brrrrrrtt,” shredding more than he had planned.

Those pretty girls were just going to have to be impressed with Slats and the new lime green rope. Two out of three ain’t bad for an aristocrat.

© 2008 Julie Carter



1 Comment

  1. Where’s Slats?

    Anyway, I think Shirley and I are about done for. It was your book, maybe, that did it. Most of her comments on ranching were “You think I’m gonna do WHAT?” and “Are you nuts?”

    the only one of her kids still keen on the idea of me as a stepdaddy is the oldest, age 26, but that’s because her kids call me Grampa and she’s country all the way tho from an Amish perspective. It gets worse from here.

    Bless you and yours, and keep writing! 🙂


    Comment by Marty — August 26, 2008 @ 8:40 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment