The Art of Barnyard Cussin’

Nothing can stir the soul of man, woman, or child more than an adventure on a Montana dude ranch where one can partake in piece of old west history called cowboy, and blend that with the great outdoors. That is the setting of the story to follow…

It was a beautiful, pristine Montana morning with the horses grazing peacefully about the meadow in belly-deep grass; the sun was rising up to kiss the mountain peaks with warmth. The morning campfire was crackling away outside the lodge, and awaiting the guests, was a fresh pot of cowboy coffee.  It was what we called “Wrangler Breakfast” morning, which entails your guests consuming their meal of steak, eggs, & camp spuds around the fire while watching the wranglers gather in the stock by horseback.  This was my job, and I loved it.  There is nothing like saddling up on a cool, summer morning and heading out to gather in the horses.  It’s just you and your horse working together, and the feeling is indescribable.
I was the only wrangler on tap that morning, so I mounted up and headed my horse out the gate. The ranch owned about 80 head of horses and mules, and they knew the routine well of wrangling.  They usually did as they were supposed to, gallop gracefully to the barn displaying their athleticism and grace for the onlookers.  But, there were stragglers; defiant beasts that chose to head the opposite direction or hold their ground in a sweet section of timothy grass. This particular morning, they took a little extra coaxing.  I worked them back and forth across the meadow, pushing firmly but gently until they were in front of the lodge where they all chose to stop. They would take a few steps toward the corrals and barn, then stop and plant their fat faces in the grass. Any time I came near, they would pin their ears, whirl and kick, and circle back around to the tall grass. They knew they had the upper-hand.  After several minutes of this fun, I’d had enough.  My horse had lost any brain he had, my temper flared, and forgetting I had an audience, I opened up and aired out both lungs. 
Now, growing up in the barnyard, you learn the importance of which cuss words to string together to get the best bang for your buck, so to speak.  You don’t just throw out the usual simple sentence enhancers. Oh no! You string ‘em all together at one time, so I did. And I enunciated every single word loud and clear.  I took down my lariat and connected rope with hides, let out another incoherent stream of foul language, and chased them in with all I had.  Apparently my crazed appearance was convincing enough that they took off to the barnyard, full-tilt. I cussed and yelled at them the whole way, all the while forgetting about the crowd of  adults, children, crew, and most importantly, my uncle & boss, that had now gathered at the edge of the front lawn to watch the show.  I slammed the corral gate, steam rolling, exploits blaring and stomped my way to the barn. There!  I’d showed them who was boss!  I went about unsaddling and caring for my horse, and huffed up the hill for breakfast with the gang.  As I reached the campfire and guests, I noticed it was awfully quiet upon my arrival. {gasp…insert scene replay & silent foul language.}  Me and my big mouth.  Head down, I grabbed a plate of humble pie and proceeded to politely shovel it in by the forkful, quietly.  As the lump of breakfast soured in my stomach, I was reminded that sometimes, silence is golden.  Will I ever learn?  Hell, no…

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