Weekly Posting of the Conservative Cow Doctor


Tears of Joy

“What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly” is how Thomas Paine phrased value in The American Crisis. I capitalized on this truth when developing Double Rafter Cattle Drives because immersing guests in a meaningful western experience trailing cows takes a precise amount of miserably long, hard hours in the saddle followed by a good steak and a cold beer. Too little challenge risks boredom, while too great risks death or desertion. Most guests hailed from the fast-food and air conditioned world of concrete, so few had experienced the majesty of God’s creation in such a personal manner. Sweat-soaked saddle blankets are equally therapeutic for horses and cowboys and each passing day brought ordinary city-folk closer to reality. Watching their transformation taught me things and today’s story is about Cindy; a cowgirl from New York.

It was our fourth day on the trail and we were moving the herd up the Little Horn Canyon. By now, even the greenest guests were comfortable with their horses while even the crankiest had become comfortable with everyone else. I was the guide escorting Cindy and Julie with a lead group of 30 pair, it was almost noon and we had been in the saddle since daybreak. This section of the single-file, canyon trail is densely timbered and as we moseyed along Cindy and Julie were engaged in a deep and apparently meaningful discussion about relationships. I was engaged in ignoring them—it was girl talk. “I’ve lived with my boyfriend for five years, but he is just not ready for marriage so I don’t want to rush him. I want him to be ready,” Cindy offered. I mindlessly whistled a nameless tune with no melody or rhythm; an innate survival technique common in the Kerns family. Thinking I would survive our final half-hour ride to the Little Horn Parks, Cindy suddenly blurted “Krayton, What do you think?”

“Crap,” is what I thought, but I couldn’t say that. My mind raced. “Well, I already have their money and they would never find their way out of this canyon without me so I could tell the truth,” I thought to myself before offering, “We country folk have a saying, ‘why buy the cow if you get the milk for free.’” I spurred my pony off the trail towards a calf ducking through the timber and back down the canyon. By the time I turned the little heifer and I circled back to the trail, the conversation had been drowned by the mooing of cows and calves. We had reached the point where the trail crosses the Little Horn River for the final steep, and I mean steep, climb through the timber to the Parks. It is a push frequently requiring even the best cowboys to bail from the saddle to chase a wayward calf on foot. Immediately at the top, the trail breaks out into the bright, green, wildflower-filled alpine meadows called the Little Horn Parks. The herd scatters in the openness with the smaller calves disappearing in a sea of tall grass. I feel a sense of relief every time I ride out of the timber, but this time it was different. I glanced over at Cindy who had dismounted and was sitting on a large boulder nestled in the Quaking Aspen patch where the trail opens into the parks. She was holding the reins to her horse and she was crying. I rode over thinking the worst and asked “Are you hurt?”

“No, I’m fine,” she babbled. “It’s just so beautiful it made me cry.” I never spoke, but nodded. Some things in life are so moving they would even make a grown cowboy cry and this brings me to my point.

At four o’clock Wednesday morning, my bedside radio broadcast news headlines which nearly brought me to tears. Dave Brat, an underfunded political unknown, sympathetic to America’s founding principles of limited government had just defeated cocktail-caucus Republican, House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor. “Hallelujah,” I screamed into the pre-dawn darkness thereby awakening the trophy wife. “At last, one little Congressional district in Virginia gets it?” Granted it is a small victory, but America just might be starting a comeback.

Marxism has a death grip on America, so much so the entire Democrat Party advocates wealth redistribution. Unfortunately, the cocktail-caucus Republicans, establishment Republicans, or responsible Republicans as they refer to themselves here in Montana, are tripping over each other to be the first to compromise and join the Democrats. The cocktail-caucus Republican’s solution is a longer, slower, more circuitous route to financial collapse with them driving the bus instead of the Democrats. If there must be crying, let it be tears of joy from the patriots along with tears of defeat from the progressives.

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