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The Lighter Side Of Cowboy Life: The Pits

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In the previous article “Cowboy Snow Angels”, I talked about my first job as a cowboy taking care of three hundred milk cows, and how we had to train them to drop their waste in the waiting pen before they went into the milk barn to be relieved of their milk. This waiting area had to be cleaned and the manure (referred to as honey) had to be scooped up and put on a honey pile to compost. The waiting area is then washed down with water which drains into a large circular storage honey pit. It takes about a month for this pit to be filled, and then it is drained and taken out to the fields to fertilize the hay growing to feed to the cows. You might say it was a way to recycle the hay.

I had just taken a load of honey in the honey wagon out to the honey pile. My boss rode with me to show me the ropes, and I had accidently caused him to do a perfect snow angel in the previous day’s honey. I thought I was going to be fired, but he came after me with a cow pie threatening to make me eat it. Of course I got out of there by jamming the tractor into high gear and headed back to the milk barn. I knew I was only a few minutes ahead of him, and I was waiting at the milk barn practicing my apologies.

My boss showed up with cow pie still in hand. He intended to fulfill his treat he had made with the cow pie. He was laughing. I took off running, but I was cornered in the waiting pen. The only escape was to cross the 2X8 wood plank spanning the honey pit. I decided to go for it hoping he would not follow. I hit the plank running, and as I approached the midpoint I heard the plank crack. Lucky for me, my momentum carried me across the plank to the safety of the other side.

Once safely on the opposite side, I turned to see the boss starting across the plank. I tried to warn him, but it was too late. He took heed my shouts of warning as he approached the midway point. He came to a stop. The plank broke in half sending him down into the pit. There he was waste deep in honey water. He began to laugh, and I must admit so did I. I fished him out with the water hose laughing at each other the whole time. We became the best of friends.

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