Gathering cattle at the Fourr Ranch was an interesting process. Bob and Donna, the owners, were short on staff the weekend I was there. The only people they had on horseback were themselves, Rodney, Wade, Mikey, and Mercy. Derik handled the cattle on foot in the pens. Janis and I did our own thing racing around in the Purple People Eater taking pictures. Throughout the weekend Janis, Derik and Donna all pitched in with driving me around and teaching me the history of the land and the people who have owned it.
Sometimes the horseback riders rode out from the barn, and other times they loaded up their horses in a stock trailer, drove them down the dirt roads a ways, unloaded them, and then rode out in search of cows and bulls. Once they had a bunch of them, they either herded them on horseback to the corrals around the barn for worming and sorting, or if they had just a few, they herded them onto the stock trailer and drove them in.
On one occasion, Mikey was practically doing a dance because she was so excited that they were heading out specifically to find her favorite bull Ferdinand. Though Mikey loves this bull with all her heart, he has a history of being dangerous. She said he almost killed Bob once. So, it took the whole crew to get out there and work together to wrangle this bull.
The horses were trailered out, and people took off in different directions on horseback and on foot. I started hiking up a dirt road, remembering the advice I had been given that if a bull charges me, I should either climb a tree or run around a bush and always keep the bush between me and the bull.
I hadn't gone far when I saw Bob heading back toward me on horseback coming fast, and I guessed that Ferdinand was probably in front of his horse. I couldn't tell if they were going to come up the road or not, so I got up to high ground off the road and stationed myself behind a bush. I could hear a lot of yelling, but couldn't tell what people were saying. I just sensed the urgency of the situation, so I started taking pictures of anything that moved.
Unfortunately, I didn't have my telephoto lens attached, so I had to crop and blow up the photos I took, which lessens their quality. I also was not in the best position to capture the amazing event that took place.
Mikey can tell the story better than I can, and I'm sure she's including it in her book, but I'll tell you what I saw from the top of the hill. I saw Bob and Wade on horseback staying at a distance from the bull. I saw Mercy run through the wash over to Donna, and the two of them stayed close to the car away from the stock trailer. I think they were even sitting on the hood in case Ferdinand got a little bit crazy and started charging people.
Then I saw Mikey walking backwards with a bucket of grain saying, "Come on! Come on, boy!"
And that bull followed her right up into the stock trailer like a loyal dog.