Texas Bob Travels

Life in the Glass Mountains of Texas

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Madden Cows

One year when a cousin was visiting we wanted to catch our burros. We finally succeeded in herding them into the water lot near the house. Several cows had gone into the lot with the burros. I was trying to shut the gate when I heard Mother scream at me. I looked up just in time to see a huge Texas Longhorn coming full speed at me. There was no time for running. The cow caught me on her horns and pitched me up and down. I remembered a lesson in safety, taught to me previously, and applied it with success. I had been told to lie down should a cow catch me away from a fence or a tree. I slipped from her horns and fell flat on my face. She walked over me pausing to sniff. I felt one hoof on my head as she stepped over. I jump up and ran for the fence in double quick time.

We kept a fence between us and the cow the rest of the day. When Father came home and learned of the incident, he went to investigate. The mad cow put him on top of the fence. Father said that he would have to kill the cow if she did not leave the vicinity of the house, but she saved him the trouble. She died that night. For days afterwards other cows were afflicted in the same manner. Cowboys tried to doctor them but this proved dangerous. Several of the boys received wounds that so aroused them that they went to EI Paso for treatment. It was feared that the cows had hydrophobia. It was later learned that they had died from eating lechugguella. This is a plant akin to bear grass and has sharp points on the blades. During the drouth the cattle resorted to eating this plant and could not digest it. In their torture they became cross and were thought to be mad.

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