Blizzard

There’s a blizzard comin’ on how I’m wishin’ I was home
For my pony’s lame and he can’t hardly stand
Listen to that norther sigh if we don’t get home we’ll die
But it’s only seven miles to Mary Anne
It’s only seven miles to Mary Anne
You can bet we’re on her mind for it’s nearly suppertime
And I’ll bet there’s hot biscuits in the pan
Lord, my hands feel like they’re froze and there’s a numbness in my toes
But, it’s only five more miles to Mary Anne
It’s only five more miles to Mary Anne
That wind’s howlin’ and it seems mighty like a woman’s screams
And we’d best be movin’ faster if we can
Dan just think about that barn with that hay so soft and warm
For it’s only three more miles to Mary Anne
It’s only three more miles to Mary Anne
Dan get up you ornery cuss or you’ll be the death of us
I’m so weary but I’ll help you if I can
All right Dan perhaps it’s best that we stop awhile and rest
For it’s still a hundred yards to Mary Anne
It’s still a hundred yeards to Mary Anne
Late that night the storm was gone and they found him there at dawn
He’d a made it but he couldn’t leave ol’ Dan
Yes, they found him there on the plains his hands frozed to the reins
He was just a hundred yards from Mary Anne
He was just a hundred yards from Mary Anne

I love this song. I’ve only heard the Chris LeDoux version but it’s a great one. I love to sing it when I’m out riding in the summer heat, right now it hits a little too close to home.

It is howling outside. For once I’m happy to play the girl card, stay inside, and care for the child.

Yesterday was spent preparing. I moved the horses up front out of the way. The father and mother-in-law put out bales in all the pens and I waited for the call to say he was ready to bring the cows in. The day started nicely enough warm without too much wind. As the day wore on the temperatures dropped steadily as the wind rose. And still we waited. At last  a freezing mist began to blow and it was finally bad enough to be just right for moving cattle.

Coyote was feeling the coming storm. He was hot, I think we could have run laps around the two four-wheelers. They came off of the corn stalks easy enough. Until they got to the gate at least. The fences around the pivot are all single strand electric and the calves happily pop back and forth underneath them. They saw no reason why today should be any different.

There we sat with the cows in the narrow lane, the calves out side the narrow lane and coyote boinging around the narrow lane like the squirrel in Over The Hedge after they gave him coffee. The father-in-law and the neighbor Bill were off their four-wheelers chasing calves on foot through the tree row on one side and the wheat field on the other. They are both around seventy give or take a few years and there I sat on my horse while they ran about on foot. I felt awful. I felt as though the natural superiority of the horse was being put to the question.

Coyote managed not to crash into the electric fence and no one had a heart attack. We got one batch of calves into the pens and I found a secure place to tie my horse then I ran through the tree row on foot. The calves all seemed to have come in, no one was bawling last night. It started snowing in earnest shortly after we finished. It would have been nice for them to have more time before the storm to get paired back up but moving pairs in nice weather is simply not done.

Coyote was lathered, soaked to the skin more from nerves than exercise. I turned him out anyway. A good roll seemed like the best cure. Later that evening I went out to check them and found them all shivering. Not too surprising, I groomed them. I knew as I picked up the curry comb that it was a bad idea. They got locked in the barn for the night. It was nice and warm and dry. They hated it.

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