For a while we lived down South of Rector in a little bitty town called Marmaduke. Well, it was actually even a little South of Marmaduke in a place Calvin Faire owned. Dad did whatever was needed on that farm. It didn't matter when, where or what the need was, Dad was THE man for the job.
One Sunday morning Dad was all dressed up in his Sunday go-to-meetin threads when Calvin stopped by (we didn't have a telephone . . .), and asked if Dad could help him round up some young heifers. Sure, but he'd have to change clothes and miss church.
"Aw, you won't be gone that long, and we're just gonna drive em in. There's no need for all that," Calvin urged.
So, Dad reluctantly agreed and walked down toward where Calvin had parked. Now Calvin had a plan. He would get on one side of the cow, Dad would come in from the other side, and they'd simply urge the heifer along the road. But Calvin was thinking crazy or something. Instead of getting on one side of the road, putting Dad on the other side of the road and herding the cow down the middle of the road, they were in the middle of the road, one on each side of the cow.
Now I still ain't figured out how ol' Calvin was a thinkin cause the way they were lined up, they looked like they were gonna drive that cow right off the side of the road instead of down the middle. And that's just what she done. She headed for the side of the road and Calvin yelled "Git her George!"
And Dad grabbed her at the only place he could get a hold of: her tail . . . Well, that little lady took off past Dad and he latched onto her tail with a death grip. She was moving fast enough that he was instantly jerked off his feet, then she jumped the tail ditch, dragging him through the mud, then went through a barbed wire fence also dragging Dad through it as well.
This all happened in an instant. He had no more than got a hold of her tail, when all this happened, and he just didn't let go in time. All Mom and I could do was stand there and laugh. He was just a floppin behind that cow like a rag on a whip. And she was a buckin and a hoppin and a draggin him all over the place.
When he finally did re-obtain the presence of mind to release his death grip on the tail of that cow, he slid to a stop on his face. Mom and I had quit laughing by now and were doing our very best to keep a straight face, but it was impossible.
He was muddy from head to toe. His shirt tail was half out, and torn half off. The rest of his shirt was shredded from the barbed wire, and he had blood oozing out in about a hundred places. Calvin just got into his truck and left because he knew of Dad's redhead temper.
Dad didn't act too upset, and didn't even seem to mind that we were falling on the ground laughing our guts out. He didn't even seem to mind that we laughed the rest of that day, then told it to everybody we met. 'Specially kin.
But the story didn't just die down after a few weeks. In fact, it has never died down! We've told that story for over fifty years now. And it never has gotten old. But he looked so bedraggled and pitiful, with clothes nearly shredded off him, mud, blood, and (I nearly forgot; cow urine and cow mud!)
And stink! But he didn't get his clothes replaced, and he didn't get no extra pay, and he didn't get a pat on the back . . . all he got was a snicker and a guffaw or two. One kin folk made the mistake of mooing one time and nearly got a whoopin: not a spankin, a whoopin!
So when someone needs some cow chasin done, everybody always thinks of Dear old Dad . . . Yep life is fun on the farm, and it's especially funny when someone else has got a hold of the tail!