Monday, January 31, 2011

Nothing was Wasted

Saturday rolled around and the horses were loaded.
A beautiful day, 56 degrees and sunshine..a nice breeze.
Jesse and Seth sat in the front seats,
Anne, Russ, and Isabelle in the back.
Seth put in the new Jamie Johnson CD and cranked it up!
He explained to his dad that Johnson had written Strait's hit, "Just Give it Away".
As Jesse listened he felt like James would have liked this music.
It seemed less contrived, more gritty, not had life to it.
"I like this, can you make me a CD of it?"
Anne leaned forward, "This ain't no better than your stuff honey."
Jesse leaned over and kissed her.
The trails were filled with brush and fallen limbs.
No one had cleaned up after the big snow and Jesse was glad.
This gave him and his family an opportunity to work on the horses' trust.
They had to pick their way through many spots, asking the horses to step over logs and wade through damned up creeks.
Other times they had to go under low hanging branches, asking their horses for patience,
keeping them calm with limbs slapping them on their withers, face, rear, and flanks.
Jesse knew these experiences with the horses built trust, patience, and a deep bond with the rider.
It had an impact when in the ring roping a steer or in the field roping a calf.
It all worked together, nothing was wasted.

The Horses

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Forgotten Land

I love these back roads..

there are not many gravel roads left,
at least not compared to when I was a kid.
Russ just saw a deer..
if the window was down he would have bolted.
He has no control when it comes to chasing anything that will run from him.
Looks like it is clearing up, warming up..
back to a normal 50 degrees instead of 25 and snow..
The snow was nice,
but this feels right.
I am riding out to where my dad was born.
The old house he grew up in is just a ruin.
The chimney is pretty much the only thing standing,
a few boards that made up the ceiling look like the skeleton of an old memory.
The property belongs to one of my cousins now,
he keeps saying he is going to build on it but never does.
His goats have kept the place brush free and it almost has the look of a manicured estate,
except for the ruins, you would think it part of a well cared for land,,
but it is a forgotten land.
And for the most part, until he died,
my father was a forgotten land for me.

To be honest, I think it has a lot to do with Seth.
He and I had just been to see him this past summer.
On the drive out there Seth asked me questions about James.
We spent three days with him and saw Willie Nelson at an outdoor concert.
There is a pretty famous venue close to Henderson TX where he played.
It was a great day.
They had a mechanical bull and it was pretty funny watching folks get bucked off.
James and I sat up on the hill overlooking the field that made up the seating in front of the stage.
We talked about country music and what it sounds like today..
"They don't sing about anything worth a damn anymore! We all know how country we are,
we don't need some pedicured pretty boy telling us how country he is!
Seems like most of the songs are about being clever and not about being honest.
Hag was always honest,, listen to Working Man, Momma Tried, Kern River.."
James didn't hold back about his contempt, it seemed very important to him.


The Horses
Oxford MS

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Anne called his cell..
"Seth and Isabelle are both going to be here this weekend,
I thought we should plan a trip on Saturday to the Trace.
It's been a while since we rode the trails."
Jesse agreed it was a great idea, 
and he knew Seth would want to rope on Sunday.
"I am going to call Steve and see if he wants to come over Sunday,
ask him to bring a few Steers for some team roping.
You want to cook for everybody?"
It was unusual for both Seth and Isabelle to be home at the same time.
Even though Seth is only 15 minutes from the ranch at Ole Miss,
his football and studies keep him there 90% of the time.
Isabelle actually comes home more than he does.
Having them together on the same weekend always turns in to a party.
Isabelle is studying to be a Vet, a large animal Vet, focusing on Equine.
She can ride better than most guys, and is good with a rope.
Seth won calf roping events all through junior high and high school.
He almost gave up football for a Ranch scholarship to New Mexico State,
but he decided instead to make football his focus and roping his hobby.
Jesse and Anne were glad, they liked him being close.
Jesse put the guitar on the stand.
He opened the door to his office and Russ ran in..
"You want to go for a ride boy?!"
As soon as Russ here's the word "ride" mixed with the word "go", he goes nuts.
He starts whining, turning circles, barking with abandon, and runs to the truck.
Jesse opened the door and Russ leaped onto the old bench seat.
He took his place on the passenger side,
looking out the window, hoping to see a squirrel.

The Horses

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Whooping Crane

Jesse sat in his barn office playing guitar,
it was one of only two possessions he wanted from his dad's place in Texas,
that and a 1970 Stevens 410 single shot that had been his as a kid.
The memory of that Saturday fishing trip played like a movie in his head.
He had not thought of it in years, maybe even never.
They unloaded the boat from the trailer,
it slid quietly into the still dark water..
A large Gray Crane rose up out of the shallows on down the bank,
"Man, than it is a big Crane!" Jesse watched it fly into the fog rising over the lake.
"Get your jacket out of the cab, you gonna need it till the sun gets on up a bit."
He stood there holding the boat close to the shore waiting for Jesse to come back..
"Hold the rope while I pull the truck up and get it parked."
Jesse held the rope, pulling it snug to the bank, wanting his dad to know he was dependable.
They rowed the small aluminum 8 foot Starcraft into the fog.
It had a 18 hp Evinrude outboard but James didn't start it up..
There spot was about 500 yards to the east along the levee.
A black stump rose up out of the water where they tied the front of the boat, 
it was there secret Bream bed., at least that's what James told him.
As the morning warmed up the fish started biting.
The cooler was filling up with Blue Gill and even some Red Gill,
all about the size of a grown man's open hand.
They stopped long enough to eat their ham and cheese sandwiches..
James made them before they left the house..
it was a great day.
Jesse strummed the guitar and felt like he could still taste that sandwich,
He wondered where all these thoughts were coming from,
how his old man's death could be stirring all these memories to the front of his mind..
He felt uneasy,
wondered what it meant, if anything.

The Horses

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


James walked quietly into his son's room,
It was Saturday.
He woke Jesse before sunrise.
Time to head out for Striker lake north of town.
He had hooked the boat and trailer up to the Chevy the night before.
Jesse sat up and rubbed his eyes,
he had slept in his clothes..
Times like this with his father were few and far between.
They pulled out of the long two-track driveway across the cattle guard onto Garrigas road.
Jesse held a mug of hot chocolate and sipped it slowly.
James adjusted the radio and found a Merle Haggard song, "Momma Tried".
He lit a cigarette and cracked the window..
cool morning air eased through the opening as Marlboro smoke escaped.
"I bet the bream will be biting just about the time the sun comes up.
"It ought to be easy pickings with this cool weather finally breaking."
Jesse shook his head in agreement and sat up straight as best he could,
happy as a jaybird.

The Horses

Monday, January 24, 2011

it was what it was

It's funny how the mind works..
or how it doesn't work.
I think my old man had a lot of stuff going on,
going on inside.
He and my momma drifted apart after they made a bunch of money,
after they went from being poor to having stuff.
He earned every penny hanging drywall,
the hardest working man I ever knew.
Momma managed the business.
They were a team, and then they weren't.
He started drinking and sleeping in the barn.
When they were together they were either silent or arguing about something.
I have so many blank spots in my memory about it,
like I can't remember,
like something inside won't let me.
It's rough on a kid, on an only child especially..
to see his world slowly disappearing right before his eyes.
I went from 60 acres, 4 horses, 5 dogs, and all my friends, to a 600 square foot apt in Meridian Ms.
literally momma kidnapped me one Saturday afternoon.
I rode my motorcycle to a friends house and she was waiting there.
She ran out and almost knocked me off the bike when she hugged me.
She was crying..
She drove a light green Mark 3 Lincoln Continental with a black vinyl top.
I remember looking back at my dogs in my friends yard as we drove away..
I never saw them again..
and my old man never tried to get me back.
But hey, it is what is, or,
it was what it was..
from The Horses

Sunday, January 23, 2011

even after 33 years

Jesse was 11 years old..
It was a Saturday morning around 7:00.
He never slept late, not even as a teenager,
he was out to the barn early to feed his horse.
He got some grain and put it in the trough,
then he climbed up into the loft to throw down some hay..
His dad was asleep on a green army cot in the corner.
It startled Jesse for a moment, feeling like he was seeing something he shouldn't see..
33 years later,
As he sat there at the kitchen table,

he wondered..
"What did I feel that morning when I found him there?"
There was a half empty bottle of Jack Daniels lying on its side,
James was fully dressed in his boots and coat,
his white straw cowboy hat was bent underneath his head acting as a pillow.
Jesse was as quiet as a mouse as he threw two leafs of hay down to his horse.
James turned over and almost fell off the cot but didn't.
He started snoring as Jesse climbed back down the loft ladder.
"Why am I remembering this?"
He hadn't thought about it once in all these years..


Saturday, January 22, 2011


The digital by the bed read 3:33
3 red numbers hanging in the darkness,
Jesse sat up and put his feet on the floor.
He had been having a dream...a crazy dream.
All he could remember was a Brahma Bull in a horse trailer..
and no truck to pull it.
Anne's brother is a psychologist in Wyoming,
he believes every dream has some kind of meaning,
Jesse couldn't think of anything for this one.
He put on his wranglers in the dark and felt around for his shirt.
It was lying on the floor next to his socks.
He got dressed in silence not wanting to wake Anne.
Russ was curled up next to her sound asleep.
He carried his boots to the kitchen and sat down at the table.
As he was pulling on his left boot,
out of nowhere,
a memory as clear as day of his father came rushing in.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Good to be home..

Anne was up when Jesse pulled around to the barn.
She was making coffee..
Russ ran out to the truck to greet him.
"Hey boy, it's cold out here."
Russ ran out into the woods,
hunting squirrel.
Jesse watched as he leaped and hopped over fallen limbs.
Anne came to the back door and called out,
"Hey sweety, I have coffee made."
"I will be in in a second Shuug"
He walked into the barn and over to the stalls.
Cisco and Texas nickered low..
"Hey fellas, it's good to be back home."
Cisco rested his lips on Jesse's arm and pretended to nibble,
something horses do to one another out in the field..
not quite a sign of affection, but something akin to it.
He broke the ice on the top of their water buckets and walked to the house.
Anne handed him a cup of coffee when he sat down at the kitchen table.
"Was everyone glad you came?"
"It was a big crowd, James had a lot more friends than I realized.
His wife and kids were glad to see me.
Harold told me he always thought he would go before James, him being the oldest.
I guess all older brothers think that way."
"Did you sing a song at the funeral?"
"I sang Broken Wing, it was his favorite, at least he told me once it was.
I almost lost it a couple of times, but I got through it.
It's so strange knowing he is's bothering me more than I thought it would."
Anne put her arms around him and kissed him on the back of the neck.
She took his hand and led him down the hallway to the bedroom.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

more ways than one

The sun was just coming up as I pulled in.
Something feels different..
even though we weren't close,
there seems to be an emptiness growing inside me.
I never thought about it like this..
that it was somehow a comfort just knowing he was out there..
living his life,
but now he is gone.
The snow has all melted away,
it is still cold, much colder than normal..
in more ways than one.
from the ongoing story, The Horses

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

no luck

the radio was turned down low
only the faint sound of a steel guitar came through the speakers.
Jesse wanted to call Anne but knew she would be asleep.
She had not come with him to the funeral.
She had wanted to but Jesse insisted he go alone.
He and his father had not seen much of each other over the years.
Seth and Isabelle had only met their grandfather twice since they were born.
His dad's life in Texas had been his choice to move on,
to leave Mississippi and all the bitter memories behind him,
and as a result meant his son Jesse and his family.
They were always amicable and even friendly over the phone,
but there was always a distance between them that had nothing to do with the miles .
Even though he felt his dad was the only one in his crazy family that understood him,
or at least the only one to recognize his efforts.
The few times they would talk over the years, James had always asked Jesse about the music.
James William McGuane never knew his father either.
He left home when James and his brother Harold were three and five.
No one in the family ever saw him again.
They say he was a good horseman, was known for his way with horses.
The last anyone ever heard he was living in California working on a Dude ranch.
James and Harold went out there looking for him once,
but they had no luck,
he had already moved on.
from the ongoing story, The Horses

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


The truck tires made a humming sound on the black top,
my dad used to call these "oil roads"..
you only find them in Texas or Oklahoma..
I have been driving all night,
trying to get home before the morning.
The funeral was incredibly moving..
So many of my dad's friends came from all over Texas.
This morning I got up around 5:00 and went to the place he always ate breakfast..
I don't remember the name..
They had a picture of him in a frame by the register.
He had on a straw cowboy hat and he was smiling for the camera..
There were eight men sitting at a community table,
they had left the chair at the head of the table empty for my dad.
Every man stood and shook my hand when I came in..
then they started telling stories.
These men were from all walks of life.
One was a Texas Ranger, one a judge, one a farmer, a rancher, a doctor, a painter, a high school football coach,
and a teacher.
The stories they told were about a man I really didn't know very well.
They spoke of his generosity, his giving of his time and money,
his dry sense of humor, and his honesty.
The rancher talked about after a big summer storm,
how a huge oak had fallen on his barn;
my dad showed up one day and helped cut it up and haul it off,
how my dad got offended when he had tried to pay him something.
Story after story made me glad I got up and came in..
East Texas

from the ongoing story, The Horses

Monday, January 17, 2011

He would Pounce!

Joe O'Brien is the assistant District Attorney for North Mississippi..
He and Jesse met when he asked Jesse to play at an event at the University.
Joe was speaking to a group of young men about Catholicism....
He knew Jesse was a convert and would sometimes write about this journey in some of his tunes..
After the event they hit it off talking about their mutual love for Austin, Texas.
Joe had graduated from the University of Texas.
Jesse had played at South by Southwest every year for the past five years..
"I think I would like to live there one day if my wife would agree to it,
it is one of the best towns I have ever been to. The people are friendly,
the food is incredible, tons of places to play, and there is a serious horse culture."
Joe agreed enthusiastically, "And it's big enough so you don't have all those little
cliques like you have here that hold this town captive."
Joe's parents lived just southwest of Austin in a little town called Wimberly.
He had grown up on some of the best Cutting Horses in the business.
His wife Mary was one of the top Barrel Racers for years..
She was also into many other events,
winning "Best All Around" in the ladies "World" two years in a row.
Joe invited Jesse, Anne, Steve, and Steve's wife Barbara to dinner.
He had killed a Boar on a hunt in Arkansas and the spit was turning..
"Smells like heaven in here!", Steve said as he and Barbara walked in the kitchen..
One of Joe's 5 kids was trying to get Jesse to play a song..
"C'mon Mr. Jesse, play the "The Horse I Used to Ride"!
Jesse finally relented and played the song..
Barbara was clapping when he finished, shaking her head,
"Why won't someone record that song Jesse?,
"That is a hit!"
Jesse laughed and shrugged his shoulders,
"I don't know Barb, maybe the right person hasn't heard it yet."
Anne looked sad and mad all at the same time..
"It makes me want to scream! He plays these songs for people who supposedly can do something,
and they never do a thing! It's all about who you know Barbara, it's not about talent or good songs,
I bet if Strait heard it he would pounce on it!"
"Maybe, maybe not.", Jesse said as he put the guitar down and gave Anne a hug,
"Let's eat!"


Sunday, January 16, 2011

too weak to walk

the snow was hanging around
the horses sunk well above the top of their hooves..
As they started up a hill at a lope two big doe flipped their tales and ran into the woods..
Steve's Blue Heeler kept up, at times sinking to his belly..
A cow and calf were missing,
Steve felt they might be over by the lake..
The wind had stopped and the temperature was slowly rising,
a perfect day for riding, roping, branding, and vaccinating calves.
When they got to the lake they split up.
Jesse headed left around the east rim and Steve to the west.
The cow was standing in the shallows near the willows stuck in the ice and mud,
the calf was on the bank bawling like a baby..
Jesse dismounted and eased over to the the calf.
Steve rode up about the time Jesse picked up the newly born.
"I am going to carry him, he is too weak to walk."
The cow was worn out from trying to escape the ice and mud.
She must have slipped on the ice when it was frozen and fell in.
Steve roped her and dallied to the horn..
He asked the old gelding to back..
The rope tightened and at first the cow fought against the pressure..
she finally gave in and came toward the bank..
Steve took it slow not wanting her to fall forward and drown right in front of him..
The calf was quiet as Jesse held it across the seat of his saddle..
He had placed his coat over its shivering body..
it's front legs stretched over one side and back legs the other..
The little guy was weary to the bone..
The cow was almost too tired to work with Steve,
the cold water was playing a roll in her weak movements as well..
Finally, she gathered enough strength to move forward with a little burst of desperation,
it freed her back feet from the mud and with the horse pulling,
she walked out of the lake.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Wildness (Correction)

i walked out among the horses
you can feel their charisma
you can feel their wildness
no matter how "broke" or trained a horse is,
he or she carries the essence of wildness..
you can smell it.
there is a primal instinct to flee anything unknown,
curiosity gets the best of them and they come to me..
Cisco runs and stops within a few feet..
Texas stays a few feet behind him,
his ears back...breathing hard...
the other horses come even closer,
a beautiful Paint puts his head on my shoulder..
he has no fear of me,
knowing I do not intend on riding him,
while Cisco and Texas suspect they are needed..
they are reluctant to come too close at first,
they know..
soon they will be carrying Wes and me across the open fields..

thanks Bruce

Friday, January 14, 2011

No love for dogs..

"Hello Anne, you know your supposed to have a leash for Russ.."

Anne went to school with Jane the lady parking cop,
"Since when?"
"Since the beginning of the month after old lady Johnson complained.."
Old lady Johnson hates animals..she is a strange woman..
"She wrote the mayor and threatened to sue if he didn't enact a Leash Law..,
She was walking to her car out at the Walmart and a dog came up to her."
"Did it attack her or growl or anything?"
"Nope, just came over to her and then walked away."
"She went nuts, screamed, jumped in her car and tried to run it over,
then she drove like a bat out of hell to the mayor's office."
"Well you know Russ has never even seen a leash Jane, and he is 4 years old."
"You gonna have to teach him Anne, I have been told to hand out citations for this,
and there ain't no warning, 150.00!"
"Well, I guess I will go buy a leash then, it would break his heart not to go with me everywhere."
Anne went into Square Books and Russ stayed right by her side as always.
The owner of the bookstore walked over to Anne,
"Hello Anne, how is Jesse?"
"He is fine, he's out working on Steve's place today."
"Anne, I am going to have to ask you not to bring Russ in here anymore."
"Well Richard, he has been coming in here with me for 4 years and never caused a bit of trouble,
and y'all don't serve food, what is the big deal?"
"I am sorry Anne, but dogs are no longer welcomed."
"Well I guess I will start buying my books on Amazon Richard, where Russ can sit right next to me on the couch."


Thursday, January 13, 2011

on the surface

Anne drove her blue Jeep Cherokee to town.
Oxford is a quaint little place with a southern personality,
but it is not quite the genteel cultural mecca of years gone by..
It has a leash law now...i am not kidding..
It's one of those towns that is slowly losing its soul to uncommon sense..
like the rest of the country,
it has always been a place unlike the rest of the country.
which made it special.
When Anne and Jesse moved there in 2001 there were signs of this beginning,
but a leash law was still 10 years away..
Once Steve and Jesse road their horses to town tired of high gas prices,
Jesse held the horses while Steve went into First National to do some banking..
There is nowhere to tie equine anymore,
Jesse and the horses waited on the courthouse lawn..
upon which Cisco felt the need to fertilize..
A woman jogging by in her perfectly matching outfit gave him a look of horror and disdain..
Jesse tipped his hat..
Anne had Russ her Jack Russell with her,
he rode in the passenger seat looking out his window for squirrels..
When he sees one he stands and looks back at Anne then back out at the Squirrels, then back at Anne,
occasionally making a little whimpering sound..
Anne had no leash as she has never used one before..
Russ obeys perfectly and stays closer than most dogs on a leash..
The fine for breaking this new law is 150.00.
She parked in front of Ajax on the square and Russ jumped out the driver's side when she got out..
the lady parking cop was coming up the sidewalk..

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


it's cold..
the coldest winter in a long time,
more snow than normal,
5 inches here in Nashville,
8 inches in Oxford!!
it is beautiful
you see things differently with this weather
you discover paths and see trees you never noticed before.
the homeless have it hard
I spoke with a guy standing on the corner yesterday..
the wind was whipping and sleet pelted our coats..
he was selling a local paper put together by the homeless community.
he also sees the world differently in this weather..


Tuesday, January 11, 2011


many are called to do many things..
to speak.
to lead..
to listen..
to follow..
to express..
to challenge..
to sing..
to write..
to teach..
to paint
to build..
to prophesy..
to pontificate..
to meditate..
to be a dentist
to be a nurse
to be a father..
to be a mother..
to be a child..
but the only thing we are all called to do for sure...,
is love one another..


Monday, January 10, 2011

Header Heeler ( The End for now)

Anne woke up and made coffee.
There was a dull ache in the back of her head.
She took two of the pills Eric had prescribed...
Russ sat at her feet hoping for a treat..
the screen door opened..
Jesse walked through the kitchen door with a grin on his face.
"Did you and Steve get the bull put back?"
"We ended up having to rope that big son of a gun!"
Jesse poured a cup of coffee..
'Everything was going smoothly, we got him down to the entrance without a hitch.
He even walked onto the plywood, but he stopped.
We both pressed in on him to get him moving again..
But instead of going forward he backed up.
Steve let the loop out of his rope..
I was ready with my rope..
He roped his head and I roped his back feet..
Heck, we've done it so many times working his calves together,
it was a natural reaction.
Steve went across the plywood and dallied tight to the horn,
pulling him forward..
I got right on the bull's rear end with my rope lifted high..
His back feet were barely touching the ground..
We just scooted him nice and easy across..
Steve didn't want to lose his rope so he told me to cross him over and lay him down..
I have done this many times with young steers and calves but never a bull this size..
Steve kept the his rope tout and I'll be danged if I didn't flip him on his side!!
I jumped off and ran down the rope line,
Cisco kept it tight on his back legs..
Steve allowed some slack in his rope and I removed the loop..
The bull was confused as to it all happened so quick..
Cisco kept him busy by keeping the rope to his back legs pulled tight..
I ran back along the rope line and climbed in the saddle and Cisco stopped pulling..
I got my rope off easy enough..
That bad boy will think twice about coming back over here..


Sunday, January 9, 2011

snowing again

Clouds moved in quickly as the morning progressed.
It was snowing again.
Jesse road up the driveway to take his position.
Steve opened the gate to the paddock from the saddle.
The bull didn't get up from where he was lying in the hay.
Steve asked his horse, Gus, forward into the paddock.
As they closed in on the bull he stood and shook..
He got the bull moving at a slow easy pace.
When they came out of the paddock the bull tried to go toward the barn.
Steve moved Gus to the left and turned the Angus back..
kept him moving up the driveway.
Jesse loped Cisco to where the driveway ends at the blacktop.
He positioned himself to the left so he could move the bull to the right..
He kept an eye out for any traffic as he watched Steve driving the bull toward him..
The bull seemed ok with everything..
He moved along a easy pace, looking at Jesse and Cisco up ahead..
They were only 20 yards away from the blacktop..
"No cars coming Steve, bring him on.."
The bull got to Hwy 30 and stopped..Steve moved closer forcing him to move..
He gave the bull no choice to turn back..
Jesse asked Cisco forward and the bull turned right trotting up the highway..
Steve moved up to his right and stayed even with the bull so he could turn him left into Hastings drive..
Jesse stayed behind the bull at a slow trot..


Saturday, January 8, 2011


The sound gravel popping under the truck and trailer coming down the driveway..
Anne's Jack Russel, Russ, barking out on the front porch..
7:30 and Jesse had already been up since 5:00 preparing for the job at hand..
Anne was still asleep when he checked on her before heading out.
He let Russ in the house and walked back out to the barn.
"Mornin' Steve, looks like it may be clearing up a little."
They shook hands and went into the office.
"How is Anne doing?"
"She is sleeping. Eric says she'll be fine, I'll tell ya, it scared the heck out of me."
"I bet it did."
Jesse poured them both a cup of coffee.
They talked about beef prices, horses, and the weather..
When they finished their coffee, Steve unloaded the big Bay gelding from the trailer.
He had won many calf roping events at local rodeos on the old horse.
At 57 years old, Steve still looks like he could play Free Safety in the NFL.
He had been an All American at Texas and played 11 years in the pros for the Bills.
Never missed a game.
A soft spoken guy, as humble as they come, also as tough as they come.
Jesse had never met anyone who knew horses as well as Steve.
He has a way with them you can't teach.
They had become good friends over the years.
Every spring Jesse joined up with Steve on his ranch to help brand and vaccinate calves.
It was as close to the old ways as one could get.
Jesse had saddled Cisco earlier,
He brought him out to the trailer.
The plan was for Steve to slowly push the bull up the driveway which is fenced on both sides.. 
Jesse would be waiting where the driveway ends at Hwy 30 to hold traffic if there was any,
He would also turn the bull toward Hasting's entrance 50 yards up on the left.
They would then encourage him across Hasting's cattle guard.
Jesse had already put some plywood across the guard earlier.
He had also repaired the area the bull had escaped from in the first place.
The trick would be to get the bull to walk across the plywood.
It would require patience and luck.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Ain't Alone

Driving back from the clinic Jesse told Anne what happened.
"You need to get someone to help you load him Jess."
Jesse got his cell phone out of his front coat pocket,
"Hey Steve, I got a little problem over here at the place,
think you could come over in the morning and give me a hand?"
He went on to tell Steve about the bull and Steve said he would be there.
Steve Jenkins is an old school cowboy from Central Texas.
He moved to Mississippi in the mid 80's after marrying.
His wife's family owns the largest cattle ranch in the state.
He told Jesse he would bring his big gelding and they would "drive the fellow home."
Jesse put Anne to bed and brought her some medicine and a glass of water.
"I'm heading out to the office for a bit, you get some sleep Shuug."
The snow was still falling as he walked out to the  barn.
He sat down in the office and picked up his guitar.
After a few minutes a melody formed..
He wrote these words..
"Horses in the trailer are hangin' on
My dog's lying next to me with a bone
Strait is singing another number 1 song,
Yea I'm lonely but I ain't alone."
He made some coffee and wrote the rest of the song over the next hour.
Finally getting a little sleepy, he walked down the hallway and checked on the horses.
The water in their buckets was frozen on top.
He broke it up so they could drink..
Rays of the moon eased through the clouds as the sky cleared..
The snow had tapered off, the temperature was dropping quickly..
He walked to the paddock and watched the bull standing in the moonlight eating hay..

Thursday, January 6, 2011


The bull was not on the front porch sitting in the swing,
He was standing by the gate leading to the pasture,

bellowing for the coeds with all his might.
The cows were grouped together near the north fence line,
singing back to him with one voice.
The snow was coming down pretty steady,
"What is the deal with this weather?"
Jesse parked the truck and trailer just beyond the paddock.
He saddled Cisco and walked him out of the barn,
He climbed in the saddle and slowly moved toward the bull.
His plan was to get bully back into the paddock and leave him there for the night.
When the bull saw Jesse and Cisco coming he turned and faced them..
The big black Angus put his head down and blew the snow covered ground with his flaring nostrils..
a volcano ash of snow flew up in the air around his head and shoulders.
"I think that crazy thing is about to charge us boy."
As soon as he finished his sentence the bull charged.
Cisco braced and put his ears back, waiting for a signal from Jesse..
Jesse had opened the gate to the paddock before saddling Cisco..
the gate was about 10 feet behind them to the left..
He quickly backed Cisco through the open gate,  the bull kept coming.
Once they were all in the paddock Jesse spun Cisco around as good as any Reigning horse in competition,
The horse was too fast for the bull and they circled him in a split second..
As he and Cisco raced through the gate they turned on a dime and Jesse swung the gate closed from the saddle..
Just as it latched the bull butted the gate with his head..
He turned back toward the center of the corral,
mad at the world.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dr. Richardson

Dr. Eric Richardson came into the room..
His thick red beard is the first thing you notice,
it is not the look most associated with young doctors.
He and Jesse hunt quail in the fall with the his German Short-haired Pointers.
Jesse shook his hand.
"She has a mild concussion and will need to rest for a few days."
"How serious is a  mild concussion, I mean, she was out cold for a few minutes..?
"It's different for everyone, Anne is tough, she will be fine."
Dr. Richardson has known Anne and her family since they were kids.
They dated in High School.
"What happened?"
"Hasting's Angus bull busted through my fence this morning looking for a date."
"We were trying to get him loaded onto the trailer,
next thing you know, bam!!"
Eric gave him some anti-inflammatory pills for Anne to take for the swelling.
"I want to watch her for another 45 minutes or so before I let her go."
He took Jesse back to the examination room and Anne smiled when he walked in.
"Hey Shuug, how you feeling?"
Eric left the room saying he would be back shortly.
Jesse sat down on the bed next to Anne. She put her hand on his chest.
"You think you better get back to the house and make sure that bull's not sitting on the front porch swing."
Jesse laughed and stroked her arm..
"I will be back in about an hour to get you. Eric said he wants to make sure you're ok."
He leaned over and kissed her on the cheek.
On his way out he stuck his head in Eric's office and told him to call his cell when she was ready.
The sun was about an hour from setting as he pulled out of the parking lot.
It was snowing again.