Karma and the Cowboy

Oh, they have an appointment.

So two days ago, while visiting Landlady’s chickens I happened to notice a cow under a juniper in the meadow across the road from her house, and it seemed to be sleeping awwwfully soundly. Meant to check on her, forgot about it yesterday, walked out there this morning, and yeah. Really dead. Sincerely dead.

I could have called the cattle guy, but we don’t have the best relationship and he’d have come up with reasons why moving her wasn’t his job. So I called Neighbor L and asked her to call the cattle guy. He came up with reasons why moving her wasn’t his job. “Law of the Range” was an expression he used. Also, he said he’d known about the body for two weeks.

I said, “Okay, I’ll take care of it. You happen to have his address? With that information I’ll know just where to dump her.”

Two weeks? A two-day corpse is just depressing hard work. A two-week corpse is millions of maggots, gag at the stench, ruin a good pair of gloves and smell rot all the rest of the day hard work.

I really hate that guy.

Just in case.

Just in case.


So I dug out some cable with a hook, loaded LB in the Jeep and we drove into the nothin’ to scout out a good final resting place. (Thanks for those new tires, from the bottom of my black smoldering heart.) Drove back to keep our date with Daisy…

It took longer to figure out how I was going to get the cable around under her than it did to do it. And fortunately the cable actually held for the whole trip.

You see that house in the upper background? That's Landlady's house. That lowlife sumbitch left a 1000-pound rotting corpse practically in her yard, and the law is on his side. The law, like the cattleman, is an ass.

You see that house in the upper background? That’s Landlady’s house. That lowlife sumbitch left a 1000-pound rotting corpse practically in her yard, and the law is on his side. The law, like the cattleman, is an ass.

We left quite an unusual trail for maybe three quarters of a mile across some very broken ground, and I ditched her under another juniper just like the last one, except where nobody will have to put up with the smell and flies all summer.

Thanks, [cattle guy]. I live for the day when you need something from me. Bring kneepads.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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11 Responses to Karma and the Cowboy

  1. coloradohermit says:

    You didn’t bring her to the cattleman’s house??? You have far greater restraint than I do(or think I would). You’re a good man Uncle Joel.

  2. Joel says:

    I indulged in the fantasy for a few minutes, I do confess. But there wasn’t any practical way to pull it off. Also it would have started a war I’d have lost.

  3. MJR says:

    I’m with coloradohermit. :^)

    It’s too bad that you couldn’t use the backhoe to scoop up the dead cow and reunite it with the owner. Picture the look on the guys fave when you pull up, dump the dead cow in his driveway calmly tell him that you ‘re returning his property and leave.


    Drop the dead cow off at the front of the police station, tell the cop who comes out that you found this property on your neighbor’s place and wanted to see it returned to it’s owner.

    I know it’s a no win situation but damn it good thinking about stuff to do.

  4. Kentucky says:

    S’pose there’s the possibility that Daisy had some sort of rare, highly-contagious cow crud and that’s why cattle guy didn’t want to have anything to do with her on the off-chance of infecting his ENTIRE HERD?!?

  5. Joel says:

    No way he’d have left the corpse near the herd if that were so. There’d have been crowds of guys in moonsuits out here. Also, since it’s a herd and they get together often, there’d be dead reeking carcasses everywhere. No, like rabbits and chickens sometimes they just die. Daisy won’t be the first field of bones I know of.

  6. Claire says:

    Of all the tasks you’ve self-obligated yourself to in the name of being a good neighbor, I’m betting that was the most unsavory.

    Those cattle people really are more like pigs. With apologize to any actual pigs.

    BTW, did they ever cease that nasty business of letting water constantly flow, threatening to drain everybody else’s wells?

  7. Joel says:

    BTW, did they ever cease that nasty business of letting water constantly flow, threatening to drain everybody else’s wells?

    Nope. He at least has the decency to turn off the pump when he’s not actively running cattle. But that’s only a few months in winter. It’s flowing all over the ground right this minute. I hate that.

  8. MamaLiberty says:

    What happened to all the coyotes and feral dogs? I would have expected the dead cow to be reduced to a skeleton in a relatively short time. Would be here. The county/state game and fish folks do not pick up deer road kill anymore (and it is illegal for us to move them farther than off the road), so we’ve seen this happen a good number of times in the last year or so. Oh, the carcass gets nasty and smelly for a few days, but then there’s nothing left but skin and bones. Of course, a whole cow would be a mess a while longer.

  9. Joel says:

    Of feral dogs we have had a drought lately. Coyotes had certainly been at Daisy, she was all opened up in the belly. But it’s true, they didn’t seem to eat a lot. She didn’t even attract a lot of ravens; I only scared off a couple yesterday, and if there’d ever been clouds of them at her I’d have noticed her a lot sooner.

  10. John says:

    Cause me wonder, where the local “plastic law” of the mortal earthlings here be, on mere “return of property” to owners land? ~Assuming Daisy passed on another’s “private parcel” vs “the commons”.

    (Respecting reason, I know that prospect of war invokes escalation, and natural or immutable law!)

    To me, any case for “rights”, present always a conundrum. Life, liberty, property ~
    Any respect for these is not evident to me as being given by nature or gods.
    They appeal to me profoundly, but we know human ideas are not finished here.
    Daisy being a small annoyance case example.

    I await your next book on the real, but know you’ve been putting it here for a decade…

    (Hell, I could do mercenary, Like, for $5, or a beer, I might drag ol’ Daisy to owners front porch, and leave note, “Howdy, here’s some of your missing beef, happy to help”, then vanish…)

  11. anonymous says:

    Two weeks ? Geez, your coyotes and vultures should be fired or at least court martialled for ‘dereliction of duty’. A carcass like that gets stripped to bones and torn hide and hoofs in a week, tops, similar to Mamaliberty’s scavenger clan.

    Wasting water like that is a sin – A SIN! Especially in the desert. The cattle guy should at least make a depression in the ground for it to stay and allow animals to drink from it, even if its close to his stock tank.

To the stake with the heretic!