The story of a stuck cow at the body shop

Cheryl, who manages the office at the body shop in Globe, Arizona, where the Perfect Tow Vehicle recently was fitted with a new door, shares what it is like to live on a cattle ranch.  I’m sitting at a desk that faces her desk as she tells this story.

“My husband used to work on a cattle ranch,” Cheryl begins. 

“We lived right there on the ranch.  The house was part of the deal, besides my husband’s pay. You don’t make much money working on a ranch,” she adds.

“Well, there was this time when my husband had to be away from the ranch . . . .

“I’m sitting in the house having breakfast when these people come along.  They tell me, hey, there’s a cow stuck in the mud.   Up in the back somewhere.  They can’t tell me where the cow is, so I follow them up there.  The cow is at one of the ponds in a canyon.

“The people leave and I climb down this ravine to see about the cow. 

“Yep, it’s stuck in the mud.  Of course, I can’t get a signal for my phone down there.  I climb back up and start calling, trying to find someone to come and pull the cow out.

“I don’t know where the ranch hand is.  I can’t get him on the phone.  Finally I get in touch with this guy we know who just HAPPENS to be in town and he says he’ll pull the cow out.  He comes out and I show him where the cow is at — there are three ponds in the canyon so I have to show him where.

While Cheryl talks, she continues to work.

Her eyes flick to the computer monitor between us.  She clicks the mouse under her hand.  The printer clatters and complains, cranking out a sheet of paper.  Cheryl staples the paper to an invoice, gets up, puts it in the proper slot on the wall, and sits down again.

“He drives his truck down the ravine. I don’t know how he does it.  I wouldn’t drive our truck down into that canyon! No way!  But down he goes somehow . . . .  He puts the belts on the cow, hooks up the winch, and pulls the cow out with his truck.

Cheryl is interrupted by one of the guys from the shop poking his head in the door.

“I need a quart of (He fires off a jumble of letters and numbers for a specific shade of paint).”

Cheryl doesn’t write anything down. 

She wrinkles her brows and asks, “What color is that?  I’ve never heard that one before.”

“Oh, it’s some crazy purple,” the guy replies, before disappearing into the shop.

I listen with amazement as Cheryl picks up the phone, places the call, repeats the jumble of letters and numbers completely from memory, follows it up with an efficient thank you, hangs up, and, without a second’s hesitation, resumes the telling of the cow-in-the-mud story .

“Later that night I’m talking to my husband on the phone.

“I tell him about the cow stuck in the mud.

“‘Did you move the cow away from the pond?’ my husband asks.

“No, we didn’t.  Why?”

“‘Well,’  my husband says. ‘The cow obviously wanted water.  That’s why it was in the mud, right?  It’s still going to want water.  If you don’t move the cow away, it’s going to go right back into the mud.’

“The next morning I go up to the canyon and, sure enough, there’s the cow stuck in the mud.

Cheryl leans on her elbows and massages her forehead with both hands as she recalls that moment.

“I climb out of the canyon and call the guy with the truck and the winch.  I ask him to come out again and this time to move the cow away from the pond.

Later I’m at work when I call him.

“Did you get the cow out?”

“Yeah, I got it out.”

“Did you move the cow away from the pond?”

“No, I didn’t.  Don’t worry.  The cow is fine.”

“After work I go up there and there’s the cow stuck in the mud again.  This time I have some hay and a bucket with me.  I toss the hay to the cow and start hauling water to it in the bucket.

“The next day I’m back with the cow several times, giving it hay and water, trying to keep it alive until I can find someone who can get it out of the mud.

“Finally . . .  I get in touch with the ranch hand.  He’s a young guy.  He comes up to pull the cow out of the mud.  Does he bring a truck?  No.  He comes up there on a HORSE.”

Cheryl rolls her eyes and heaves a sigh.

“He goes to pull the cow out of the mud and the horse falls over and breaks his leg.

“What?  The horse broke its leg?” I blurt out with alarm.

Cheryl gives me a deadpan look like I’m the dumbest creature she has ever come across.

“No.  The horse didn’t break its leg, ” she says, slowly and carefully, doling out each word.  “The horse fell and when it fell, it crushed the GUY’s leg.”

“Oh.  When you said the horse fell and broke his leg, I thought you meant the horse,” I trail off sheepishly.

Cheryl picks up the story.

“He — the guy — has to go to ER and all that.  So here I am with the ranch hand laid up.  He can’t work and I’m hauling hay and water to this cow stuck in the mud.

At last my husband comes back.  We go up to the canyon and by this time the cow is in mud up to its shoulders and has to be put down.  After I spent three days killing myself trying to keep it alive . . . .”

The door from the shop flies open and a head pops in.

“Cheryl, I need a quart of (a jumble of letters and numbers).”

Without skipping a beat, Cheryl picks up the phone.


1-P1010944Saguaro with rainbow near our camp at Roosevelt Lake, Arizona

NOTE:  More photos in the next post!


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123 Responses to The story of a stuck cow at the body shop

  1. Marilu from Northern California says:

    Am I first? Hooray!

  2. John K - Mobile, AL says:

    I’m trying to form a mental picture of Cheryl. Does she smoke?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, John K.,

      No, I don’t think so. She’s a petite woman with long brown hair. She has a very direct, honest manner, no fluff or frills… One of those women who doesn’t hesitate to do what needs to be done.

  3. Marilu from Northern California says:

    What a crazy story

  4. Jean in Southaven, MS says:

    I think Cheryl should have been put on the payroll of the ranch. Sounds like she was doing most of the work. I didn’t think ranch hands could just up and leave with no one to take care of things. I guess that is what Cheryl was for, huh. That was a funny story, but makes me feel sorry for the cow. These stories of yours would make a great book someday when you have time. You could call it “Tales from the Trails”. Thanks for sharing. Your blog makes my day.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Jean.

      I’m not sure of the details regarding the running of the ranch. The ranch hand might have had to go somewhere to pick up or deliver or there might have been other things that happened that called the ranch hand away. I couldn’t ask for clarification due to Cheryl being at work and the business of the office going on.

  5. What a great title for that book Jean. Tales from the Trails. Sue Please Put me in line to buy a copy when you are done writing that book. 😛 Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year to you!

  6. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    OMGOsh that is awful in a rolling on the floor laughing my head off sort of way!
    Multitasking makes me tired. 🙂

    Happy day!
    Hugs from Hoquiam!

  7. Nothing to do with your story, but we were in Globe, AZ once…back in 2006 we had rented a car and stopped for the night in Globe. Terrible motel room for $25 a night. Of course we didn’t have high expectations at that price, but man, it was bad. We actually got our sleeping bags out of the car and used them on the bed instead of the nasty sheets and blankets. Yikes. That’s our only memory of Globe!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yuck! Reminds me of the trip to pick up the Best Little Trailer from the factory in Texas. I spent the night before in a motel.. one of the chains, don’t remember which. It was okay, looked clean. However, I wasn’t taking any chances of having my new trailer messed up. I put plastic down on top of the bedspread to sleep. I didn’t want to carry bedbugs to the BLT!

      • Barb from Hoquiam! says:

        OMGosh to the icky motels! Gotta share…
        During the 96 Olympics, one of my oldest friends brought a group of 17 Girl Scouts down to our home in Atlanta (from Oregon) on a Olympic Patrol. We had two vans (mine and a rented on) and banners and even CB radios so we could talk back and forth (um.. cell phones were real iffy past Macon back then and they were EXPENSIVE!). So we get the girls (late, cuz the plane was real late) and head out to Savannah for the rowing events… UGH. We ended up staying in what would be best known as a BROTHEL. YES they knew who we were and they took our money anyhooo! We were in the rooms above the offices… 2 towels, for 21 people… pull out couches (no sheets) and it was NASTY. Oh and you know the crawlies were out! We got in at about 1AM, slept (HA) in shifts… got up and went to Juliet Low’s home tour at 9AM. Needless to say, I missed most of the tour, as I was out begging for rooms for 21 people most minors during the height of the Olympics! Yes, we did have a great time, the kids all came BACK several years later and have remained friends of ours, and my pal and I have war stories. 🙂 Ended up staying in a great place (with FREE Denny’s breakfast) Oh the things we recall when we are old 🙂

        That does not even cover the day of the Olympic bombing…


        Hugs from Hoquiam where the rain is miserable and all the streets are flooded.
        Barb :p

  8. Velda in Roseville Ca says:

    Great story Sue! And the commission you get on someone’s nice sewing cabinet will make for a Merry Christmas! Lucky someone, nice cabinet! We are having a rainy day but I will still get out to Curves. Was supposed to go get my new replacement Cpap but that got postponed due to someone calling in sick at the place. Got called to jury duty for January but was able to get postponed because that is week husband starts radiation. Always something around here but not as entertaining as the cow in the mud story! Ha ha have a marvelous day and weeks end.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Velda,

      You do have a lot going on in your life. It’s like you stepped into a whirlwind! You seem to be handling it well.

      You have a great weekend, too!

      • Velda in Roseville Ca says:

        Yeah well I like to think I handle stuff but this morning my BP was up 20 pts with the whole jury thing! But thankfully it is being taken care of. I’m grateful I have my men folk here even if I worry about them and all life hands us. Boy! snow at Donner summit! Woohoo. Working on denting that drought. Rain has eased off here. Not sure if it will sink south to you or to. Either way have a good weeks end!

  9. Barb Brady from Spokane WA says:

    That was the funniest story I’ve ever heard up until the last couple of sentences. You DO have a way with words, RV Sue!

  10. Now that’s a story! Too bad the cow had to die. There’s a “stick-in-the-mud” life lesson in there somewhere. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yeah, something like “You can lead a cow to water but you can’t keep her from getting stuck.”

  11. Page says:

    I feel sorry for that cow. Sad story.

    I hope you and Bridget have a wonderful Christmas.

  12. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    ………..poor cow!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s ranch life!

      • AlanOutandAbout says:

        So true, that poor cow’s only future was to be hamburger. Maybe he got the better deal?

        • Velda in Roseville Ca says:

          I think cows make milk and steers make hamburger or at least that’s what Dad taught me. Works for me cause it means a burger and a shake from the pair. LOL

          • Denise - Richmond VA says:


          • edlfrey says:

            The most common cattle breeds that provide the beef that make the hamburger you speak of are Black Angus a Hereford. Nether of these breeds are known for their milk production and there is no sorting by sex when they go to the packing house.

            Your dad was doing his best to shelter you from the hard realities of this world we live in.

  13. Timber n' me says:

    What a story, guess the cow knew what was coming, maybe it was really sick and was going to pass on and the Rancher’s Wife didn’t know it. guess the cows joke was on her or your getting your leg pulled ,,,,,,,,,,,Timber

  14. John fossildreamer says:

    Hi Sue,, I felt like I was sitting in that office with you,,,
    I think you should go back in a couple of days just to say hi..
    and get another story, I should be finished laughing from this one by than…
    Save Travels Sue,, and have a nice christmas ,,,

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, John,

      That’s what I try to do — make you feel like you’re right next to me. You have a nice Christmas, too.

  15. weather says:

    That was so-o well told!Sue,you have a real talent for entertaining while telling about your day.And here I’d sat worrying you were dealing with tattoo parlor guys or whatever a “flavorful” section in town offers someone stuck there all day…meanwhile you were not just being kept safe and comfortable,but being regaled with folk stories ! Your instincts about liking that shop sure proved to be spot on.

    As to the efforts made on the calf’s behalf,well,at least because someone’s heart was in the right place it didn’t live it’s last days thirsty,hungry and alone.Being “put down” by experts is over with in a flash.It’s easy for someone playing armchair quarterback to say it all could have been done differently.Cheryl was the one trying to do her best in an awful situation on top of having a regular job and help out of town.

    Love your “punchline photo” ,it’s absolutely gorgeous,and must have been wonderful in person.Clear blue sky may raise everyone’s spirits,thanks for showing storms,too,
    can bring beauty .

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      Cheryl is one very capable lady. She did her best.

      That was the most vivid rainbow I’ve ever seen and it lasted a long time. It’s not often I see a rainbow in the desert.

    • weather says:

      About seeing things,like a rainbow, we never have in quite the same way before-at sunrise the water stretching from the cove’s shore outward looked aqua blue-vibrant hues ones sees in Caribbean photos so altered you know they’re not real actually appeared in the water and sky-it was almost startling.Autumn’s finest displays – a curtain with it’s signature on it rolled out before me and disappeared leaving a shimmering light frost in it’s wake.What a season this has been Sue,good morning-hope your surroundings bring you wild surprises and smiles today.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Good morning to you, too, weather,

        I had a similar experience with “Caribbean blue” water… at the rock at Antelope Flat, Flaming Reservoir… the color of the water changed often there.

        Here’s to more happy surprises for you!

      • weather says:

        Later-Assuming you were referencing the camp in your header photo I went to “Finding paradise on the east side of Flaming Gorge.Utah” Sept.18,2014 post to have a look.That camp was among the pinnacle of boon docking diamonds you’ve managed to unearth through your appreciation of rutted dirt roads…I saw again what you meant about color changes and returned to this page.The aqua seen in your rainbow comes closest to what I saw this morning.-All good examples of why trying to recapture the past or long for the future,manufacture an ideal rather than appreciate what’s freely given to us wastes the happiness here-in the moment we’re living- that you mentioned yesterday.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          About efforts to “recapture the past” . . . Recently I thought of that fine camp on the peninsula at Flaming Gorge Reservoir and imagined going back there. If I do, I’ll go in Spring, to make it a new experience instead of a rerun of a former time there. Although nothing ever remains the same….

          • weather says:

            It hadn’t occurred to me to imagine that camp in springtime,wow!Nothing DOES remain the same in nature from sunrise to sunrise -new once in a lifetime things present themselves to all of our senses whenever we take time to notice them.You would experience that camp in fresh ways during any season,it won’t surprise me to find you mapping your back way to it -chasing beauty never gets old!

  16. Hi Sue Great cow story and we’ll told – sorry about the ending. ..hope you’re ute all fixed now. I hope you have a memorable merry xmas and look forward to taging along in 2015 . You were my very first blog addiction which spurred me on to read lots of others. The intriguing adventures & travel – along with learning about your country has been rewarding. All that in turn influenced me to turn my hand at a blog – even though I don’t travel. It has been a great learning curve. Many thanks cheers Leslie

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Congratulations, Leslie, on your new blog! I wish you much success with it.

      You’re off to a great start with photos of your Christmas decorations and that sweet tree. Have a wonderful holiday!

  17. Jean in Southaven, MS says:

    Whoever order the Wonderbag, I want to know how well it works. Have you used one before? Please let us blogorinos know.

  18. DebsJourney says:

    Hiya Sue,
    Good true life story but sad ending indeed. Shows you that sometimes no matter how hard you try to help someone or something they still go down the wrong path.

    Well Rosie rested through the night although I did get up and carry her to go peepee 3 times through the night. I sure didn’t mind and I wasn’t going to let her jump off the bed. Today she ate and drank water and her urine was clear so I’m very grateful for that. Just staying home all weekend with my pups.

    My home is now completely painted and looks better than ever. I know someone will want to buy it and that’s going to be hard for me. Oh well everything is hard for me lately.

    • Velda in Roseville Ca says:

      Deb take heart in that soon you will have a new home to make new wonderful memories while holding tight to the old memories forever.

      • debsjourney says:

        Velda, I know I have a lot to look forward to but the unknown is scary. Sometimes it is overwhelming especially this time of year without my dear husband. I know things will work out.

        • Velda in Roseville Ca says:

          Believe me Deb, I am watching and listening and thinking because my dear husband is about to begin radiation for a second type cancer in under two years, so I have no idea how my future will turn out and whether I will be walking in your moccasin prints sooner rather than later. I am tucking away thoughts and lessons I hear from you. and praying your journey goes well and your fears are telieved soon.

      • Applegirl NY says:

        Hi Deb and Velda, I’m thinking of both of you. Thank you for sharing your stories.

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      Good to hear Rosie is doing better!

      Keep your head up girl!

      • debsjourney says:

        Hi Cin,
        Thank you for asking about Rosie, she is doing much better today. She ate and drank and is laying quietly.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That sounds like good progress, for Rosie, you and the house. 🙂

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      Glad to hear about how your pup is doing…hope that trend continues!! And blessings on you as you make this huge leap into the unknown!! I think you are a brave woman too as are several others on here!! Wish I had some of that grit!!

  19. Jan in Montana says:

    Been there, done that–with sheep. I used to work for a neighbor with about 1000 ewes. He would send me out to the summer range with his pickup and 4 wheeler. I rode to all the dugout water holes and pulled mostly lambs out as needed. Saved nearly all of them. Those were the days—you brought them back, Sue.

  20. Wayne Scott says:

    Amazing story. I’m waiting on this D $@?&$d slow WIFI so long I can’t remember why I logged on…….
    What kind of COFFEE does she drink? Must be something like that….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t know, Wayne. I think it’s great that you showed up here, what with slow WiFi to conquer.

  21. AZ Jim says:

    Missy, you need to go back to Globe and *demand* to know where Cheryl’s husband was while this was going on. He was on the payroll not Cheryl. Get back to me on this. I am glad you are back where you wanna be. Hi Bridget!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      Well, I have to admit I may have put the husband in a bad light. Cheryl told me some other stories and I may have mixed up where the husband went…

      Sometimes he’s gone hunting with his buddies, taking the camper. Other times he’s gone during round-up. Maybe he was off rounding up cattle for a few days… I don’t know. This story has some holes in it but I felt I had enough to make it entertaining, if not totally correct!

  22. Pat from SE GA says:

    Now, that’s a story! Great writing!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Pat. I like to do different things with my blog, keep y’all guessing what I’ll write about next. 🙂

  23. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    And we will patiently wait for “the rest of the story…” as Paul Harvey used to say! 🙂

    My visit to the botanical gardens last night to see the Christmas lights worked out as we had hoped. My friend and I got there early enough to grab a quick dinner at the cafe and then stroll the grounds…we beat the crowds – yay! As we were leaving, folks were coming in droves…we timed our arrival perfectly!

    Love the rainbow picture! 🙂

    Have a good night, Sue and Bridget!

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Made me wonder if the ranch hand or someone got in hot water over the loss of the cow. Wonder if the beef was salvageable? Wonder if the ranch hand got fired? Hmmm…. 🙂

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I don’t think anyone got in hot water or was fired. I never found out the reason why she couldn’t get in touch with the ranch hand that day. I could’ve spent an hour asking Cheryl questions related to this story but she had work to do. 🙂

        • Denise - Richmond VA says:

          A book, movie, or story like Cheryl’s that leaves open ended questions to ponder are my favorite kind. I call them a “thinking person’s” book/movie, etc. Always makes for good discussion and debate with like minded friends!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You have a good night, too, Denise. Glad your timing was perfect for viewing the Christmas lights… Don’t you love it when you beat the crowds!

  24. Diane, Blue Ridge Mts, VA says:

    OMG…what a story! Cheryl is something, great at her job. Yep…Ranchin ain’t for sissy’s.
    And a great parting shot Sue, now you two Take Care Now.

  25. Maryanne Davis-Baldwin says:

    Still just reading along & enjoying your enjoyment of of life on your blog-but have definite plans to leave the snow/cold for FL mid-January. Then I’ll grab onto the learning curve for my “new” trailer while though not as cute as the Caravan has many other attributes-like a/c, heating, a fridge with a freezer, a couch that slides out etc. I don’t think I am ready for boon docking yet but I can dream, can’t I? Practice will be Everglades National Park.

    Hi, Maryanne… Congratulations on your “new” trailer! Parts of your comment and questions are confusing to me. I’m answering inside your comment in an effort to be clear. By Caravan, did you mean my Casita? The Casita has the attributes you mention — a/c, heating, and a fridge with a freezer — all except a couch that slides out. As for boondocking, I wouldn’t advise taking your rig to isolated places unless you are able to fix that slide if it refuses to go back in. As a general rule, it’s easier to boondock the less you have, not more.

    I do have a new solar panel bur it’s only 60watts-is that big enough to be worth figuring out how to hitch it to the trailer-or to the battery? It was bought for the boat that died, & now has an end that fits a 12 volt cigarette type opening, which the new trailer doesn’t have. Does it need an end that would attach to the battery?

    60 watts isn’t a lot, but who am I to say what it takes for something to be “worth figuring out” for you? You do need some way to connect the solar panel to a battery as the battery is where your power is stored. It’s a bit more complicated than a simple “attach.” Since your trailer doesn’t have 12volt “cigarette outlets,” it would be best to take the trailer to a place that does solar installations for an evaluation of what you need and for installation if you decide you want solar.

    Also I have carefully ordered gifts from Amazon by clicking on “Amazon” through your website & hope you are getting credit for them. Let’s see-a popcorn popper,several books, a trunk box etc. Your photographs are just so beautiful, & although I didn’t think I would like the desert, you make it so attractive. Thank you for them & for your always interesting writing.

    Thank you very much for ordering gifts through my blog! I remember seeing the popcorn popper and the trunk box. I appreciate your kind words about my photos and writing. Best wishes for the holidays, for your upcoming trip to Florida, and for your “practice” at Everglades National Park. Have a great time!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Readers… If anyone has anything helpful to add to my reply that I placed inside Maryann’s comment, please do so.

  26. Chuck says:

    That’s ranch life! Laffing but fond and not so fond memories of some of the dumbest cows ever! It takes a ‘hand’ to handle cattle, and she was the better hand!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Chuck,

      I know yours is the voice of experience. I bet you could tell some interesting stories about ranch life!

  27. Lynn Brooks says:

    Oh My Gosh!!!
    What an AMAZING STORY!!!
    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry!!
    What did you do???

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lynn,

      What did I do? I didn’t laugh or cry… As Cheryl told the story I hung on every word!

      I admit that I reacted more strongly to the thought of the horse breaking its leg than I did to the man breaking his leg or the cow being killed. That doesn’t seem right. I guess I reacted that way because of the romantic notion of horses — beautiful, spirited, graceful, sensitive, etc. — that I don’t have about cattle, yet both are living creatures capable of pain and emotions. (As for not reacting to the man’s injury,I have no excuse!)

      We humans accept the killing of chickens, turkeys, hogs, cattle, fish and so forth and are horrified (at least some of us are) at the killing of dogs, cats, and other pets, as if certain species are more deserving to live than others.

      Ha! You’re probably sorry you asked!

      • Sondra-SC says:

        Exactly why I eat a vegan diet cause eating animals was no longer acceptable (for me), 13 yrs don’t miss it one bit! Did have one fellow say…what about the poor plants you eat…I had no answer for that one ;o/ but I have peace of mind.

  28. Mert in Kentucky says:

    Hi Sue and Bridget too… Great story, I love cows, my friend lives out in the country and has a huge pasture full of cows next door ( not hers) I love to set out there and watch them. I moo at them and it messes with the bull, I guess he is trying to figure out who and where the new woman is at lol
    The rainbow is awesome! Got to see a double rainbow recently.
    Cold, cold, cold here. I feel like I have moved into the freezer section at krogers.
    Peace and good health to you and all.
    Mert (Asia is crashed out in front of the fire place 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mert,

      It’s very peaceful to watch a herd of cows graze, one step up from watching grass grow or paint dry! I remember lazy childhood days among the Holsteins on my grandfather’s farm. When I’m out and about looking for things to photograph, a scene with a few cows in it attracts my attention. Some of my favorite photos have cows in them.

      I hope you and Asia are keeping warm! Always good to hear from you, Mert…

      • Mert in Kentucky says:

        We are trying to keep warm. Well I am… She has 14 coats on so I burn her up lol. I wish you a very merry Christmas!! Hope Santa brings bridge a big ole chicken.

  29. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Tis sad that Cheryl’s work was in vain…but as we all know…we each do all we can and we simply cannot always change outcomes!! My dad figured stupid animals did not live as long and after you had done all you could….well, maybe twas best they were out of the gene pool. And truly, most cows really are not very brainy….need quite a bit of watching over. It must have been a very dangerous place for the horse to have fallen however…usually they are fairly steady on their feet!! Thanks for sharing that story, Sue….makes a very interesting read! You know, ranching is a hard life and the women are often just as hard working and tough as the men…have to be. My dad only had a small herd and a little bit of land…but it was a lot of work to have, in addition to his private business repairing cars, etc. I did my share of some of the outside work…helped “buck” 75 pound bales of hay when it was time to get hay in for winter and stack it. I could not do that now if my life depended on it!! I only weighed 120 lbs then myself!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elizabeth,

      That horse had a very challenging job trying to pull the cow out of the muck, given that the cow could’ve weighed more than the horse and the added resistance of the cow being mired in muck.

      Your comment had me looking up Newton’s third law which he explained, in part…

      If a horse draws a stone tied to a rope, the horse (if I may so say) will be equally drawn back towards the stone: for the distended rope, by the same endeavour to relax or unbend itself, will draw the horse as much towards the stone, as it does the stone towards the horse, and will obstruct the progress of the one as much as it advances that of the other.

      In other words, the cow was “pulling” on the horse as much as the horse was pulling on the cow. The cow may have weighed 1,500 pounds, while the horse could’ve been only 1,100 pounds, for instance. And the horse might not have had sure footing…

      Your experience is right, Elizabeth. Ranching is hard work! When I decided to write Cheryl’s story for this blog I thought…”This will show the tough side of what we tend to think is an idyllic way of life.”

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Might have been kinder to the cow to have allowed the first rescuer to hie her off to the butcher as she ended up thus anyway. I think your big ranchers cannot be overly concerned frankly, about each animal…not like the small businessman is!! My dad had names for most of his and he did worry over them!! But it was usually less than 30 of them too…not the huge herds had by those ranchers as Cheryl worked for…. which kind of begs the question….isn’t it a kinder world maybe when folks only keep a few animals for their own use and maybe to sell a few…but not these huge operations??

  30. Cheryl Ann says:

    Dad gum it! I KNEW that the cow was going to be shot sooner or later. Great story, however!
    Cheryl Ann

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cheryl Ann,

      I’m glad you liked the story. It has a lot going for it…. human interest, suspense and tension (Will the cow be saved?), a three-part structure (three tries to save the cow), dialogue, interesting setting (although I didn’t develop that)… It was fun putting Cheryl’s tale into “print.”

    • AZ Jim says:

      Look at it this way, it made nice steaks!!

  31. Maryanne Davis-Baldwin says:

    Thanks for your comments-my post wan’t very clear. The Caravan I referred to was the Gypsy Caravan repro my late husband built; we camped across the country with it several times but in regular campgrounds. I bought a real 19′ trailer in May last spring & gave the Caravan back to his sons. I like being able to leave my “home” & explore the area, & this home doesn’t leak! Thanks also for your solar information-I’ll bring the panel along on my trip & look for a solar installer in FL. The panel does have something that keeps it from over-charging the batteries. The Everglades National Park has 2 more or less regular campgrounds which had no water or electricity to the sites-hence the hope that the solar panel I have would help. Not really boon docking I admit but a step in that direction! I’d really like to explore further west, & getting comfortable with this “new” 2012 trailer is the way to go, I feel. Fantastic photos by the way-I may have to get a real camera again rather than my I-phone.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi again, Maryanne,

      Okay, now I have a better idea what you’re all about! You may have told me in the past about the trailer you bought. I don’t know how far Florida is from your home but I assume it’s not as far as going “further west” as you mentioned, so that’s a good thing — to get to know your trailer on shorter excursions.

      If you want to use the solar panel for a light, remember to get LED bulbs.

      Yeah, having a good camera makes travel and new places more fun! Good luck!

      • Maryanne Davis-Baldwin says:

        I forgot to answer your comment about the slide out not sliding in; one of the reasons I bought this particular trailer is the inside is all accessible without sliding anything out. This is not true of many trailers. Also the “woodwork” is cream, not dark brown fake wood, & it has lots of windows. I’ll check out replacing the existing lights with LED ones; thanks for your helpful suggestions. Florida is about 1600 miles from home.

  32. Bob's Gotta Bus! says:

    As an experiment, I re-read the story about the cow without reading the parts about Cheryl telling the story or you hearing it. It’s a great story, with a beginning, middle and end.

    But what makes the entire blog entry come a live is the cow story told inside the story about telling and hearing the story. This is advanced story telling. The reader must work hard to keep up with the complications. The messages collide somewhere between the past tense of the cow story and the present tense of the interactions in the body shop.

    Brilliant, Sue. Just brilliant!

  33. Ah yes, the joys of working a ranch – mud is never your friend there! Great story, brilliantly told 🙂 Thank you for sharing. I could even see the look on the shop guy’s face when ordering that crazy purple color! Looking back at stories that others share with us, I always laugh at how we ended up there – like, what leads one to a cow stuck in the mud from years ago……….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jodee,

      It is interesting, and sometimes funny, figuring out how we ended up in a weird or crazy or complicated situation or predicament…

      I was very pleased to read that you “could even see the look on the shop guy’s face…..” Why was I pleased?

      Telling a story on a blog is different than writing a short story or an essay. It’s so easy for readers of a blog entry to disappear with a click if they become bored with the writing or if the reading is too much work.

      For that reason I don’t include descriptive passages about the setting, the physical appearance of characters in the story, and so forth. I rely on the action and dialogue to spark the imagination of the reader, letting the reader picture the setting or character in their own way.

      I’m not sure that always works, so I’m happy that it did here for you! Thanks!

      • AZ Jim says:

        You mean like: I was sitting there in my tiny office noticing the cigarette burns on my desk when she walked in. She was everything a poor man want’s but only a rich man can have. She smelled of Chanel and wore her mink as well as any Mustelidae could have. Looking at her cool green eyes and being almost blinded by the dazzling diamonds on her neck I knew deep down she was trouble but also my months rent on this crumby office. When she spoke her voice was a rich velvet sound. Anyhow this what you mean by descriptive Missy?

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hilarious! Yep, that’s me sauntering into the body shop…

          • Nivrapa in AZ says:

            Okay you two! I darn near blew my cup of tea out my nose as I burst into loud laughter. Have you guys considered taking your entertainment to the road? Thanks for the great belly laugh.


  34. Susan in Dallas says:

    Great story, great storytelling! From the title I was first trying to figure out what the blazes a cow was doing at a bodyshop, let alone what it would get stuck in! 🙂

  35. DesertGinger says:

    I love this story. Mostly what I like is a story of you hanging with other humans. I worry when you are alone too long. We all need some companionship, although I admit Bridget makes a great ‘Wilson’.

    I’ve got a new proofing/editing customer! Yay! My favorite work. Also still trying to jump through all the new hire hoops for HRBlock.

    And…I’m scheduled for my gastric sleeve on January 14. My friends should be here by then, so I’ll have help. It’s all working out. Start my pre-surgery liquid diet on January 1. New year, new me.

    We have clear skies and sunshine today…finally. Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wow, Ginger! What a newsy comment! Things are happening in your life… and already you have your appointment in January. Remember, if you want to talk or ask questions of someone who has had the surgery, my sister Pauline is always available.

      “We all need companionship.” Don’t worry for me when alone; save it for when I’m not. 🙂

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Great news, DesertGinger!

      All of your ducks are lining up quite nicely! I know you are excited!

      Hope you have a great weekend, too! 🙂

    • Pauline in Mississippi says:

      Ginger, I am so happy for you! I know you won’t regret it. You will be surprised at the amount you are going to loose in the 2 weeks pre-op. That makes it a lot easier when you see the pounds dropping off. I know you will do fine and I am going to be praying for you. Please email me if you need me.

  36. ja says:

    From the title of the post I thought a cow was stuck at the body shop with you and Bridget. Maybe getting a new hide lol

  37. Applegirl NY says:

    Two wonderful story tellers, you and Cheryl. Of course, you’re the one who took “pen to paper.” Well done.

    We buy quite a bit of our beef from a local cattle farmer/rancher. They have a wonderfully bucolic farm in an enchanting setting. I love to go there and see the cattle, but then I leave with a trunk full of grass fed beef, so….. while the story has a bit of a sad ending, (and I have difficulty thinking of any animal suffering) a farm is a farm and a ranch is a ranch and bills are paid with livestock. Most farmers I know are not sentimental. They can’t afford to be. So, I could picture Cheryl telling this story in a frank and matter of fact way. It’s a great story. Thanks for the telling.

    Your blog is the best!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Applegirl,

      I’m soaking up all this praise when the cow story wouldn’t be on this blog if it weren’t for Cheryl’s excellent story-telling. I didn’t have to “fix” her story, just re-tell it. As you guessed, Cheryl told the story in a matter of fact way, straightforward without sentimentality. How you read the story is pretty close to how she told it. And, like the version you see here, the story was made all the more engaging by the interruptions of the body shop business.

      Thank you for sharing your “story,”giving us a more complete picture of the cycle of ranching, and also for giving me a very nice compliment.

  38. Krystina at Wellton, AZ says:

    Now that was quite a story….and so well written…starting with the title that helped keep us guessing. I too wondered how a cow was stuck at a body shop. Cheryl is something else. She would do VERY well boondocking on the road.

    Still keeping busy here at Tier Drop RV Park. Was in bed at 7:30 last night!!! It looks like a Christmas wonderland here. You can go online and see what the decorations look like. Going caroling on Christmas Eve in a huge hay wagon! That should be a blast!

    Have a great day everyone!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Krystina,

      Wow! Tier Drop RV Park is a Christmas Light Show!

      How long do you plan to stay there? It sounds like you’d enjoy spending all winter there.

      I can see you singing along with your pals on that hay wagon. Have a fantastic time– (I’m sure you will!).

      • Krystina at Wellton, AZ says:

        I will probably be here until the end of March…and then “on the road again”. That’s IF I live through all this fun!! Give Queenie a hug for me…and, of course, you too!

    • Applegirl NY says:

      I checked out that web site. Looks like a great place to spend some time. I book marked it for future travels. Thanks for sharing.

      • Krystina at Wellton, AZ says:

        Hi Applegirl in NY (I am from Vermont)

        I am glad you like it!!! I am having a blast. If things continue to go well, I will be back next year 🙂 AND for only $295 a month + electric. Just got back from decorating the hay wagon for caroling. Maybe I will see you here sometime!

  39. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    For those of you that are traveling for the holidays! Please drive safe…enjoy the time spent with whomever.

    Merry Christmas to all.

    Today we are baking ( how domestic wouldn’t ya say) and listening to Anne Murray sing Christmas songs!

  40. G says:

    I feel guilty laughing about the cow story and at the same time being so sad (about what happened to the cow, not the guys leg!).
    What a story!

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