Baxter Black: The wandering bull
June was taking a renegade bull with a tendency to “wander” to the sale barn in Dodge City.
Her son helped her load the beast in to their stock trailer. It was an authentic ranch trailer with lights that worked intermittently, gates that swung almost even, tires that didn’t match, and compressed rubber floor-planks whose 99-year warranty had expired.
A few miles outside of Dodge, June heard and felt a thump, crack and crunch loud enough to be heard above George Strait on KBUF.
In her rear-view mirror she watched a dark object helicopter out from under the second axle!
She swerved to the right and stopped on a slant in the bar ditch. Upon examination, she found a hole in the floor of the front compartment of the trailer. The bull, butt to the front, was eyeing the hole nervously. “Simple,” she surmised, “I’ll just open the divider gate and move him into the rear compartment and be on my way.”
She unlatched the gate and it swung open. The bull was coaxed around the hole to the rear and June hurried around to close the divider. It was on a good slant. She pushed it closed and raced back around to latch it … but not in time. It swung back open.
Three times she attempted the maneuver before she heard someone say, “Can I help you?” A handsome, strong Kansas State trooper smiled.
June left him to push and hold while she went around to catch and latch.
When the divider banged closed, it spooked the bull who tried to climb over the back gate, slid to the down side and spooked the trooper who fell back writhing in agony. He was on the ground grasping his knee. She reached to help him.
“No,” he groaned, “I can do it.”
He keyed his collar mike, “Officer down! Officer down! I’ve been injured and need assistance!”
Within five minutes the horizon in all directions was filled with red and blue flashing lights and sirens blaring.
They closed Highway 400.
Well, nobody could get around all the Dodge City Police cars, Ford County Sheriff deputy pickups, the ambulance, fire trucks, tow truck, first responders and one Wildlife and Park Service utility vehicle.
After a thorough questioning, they realized the truth.
The upset June told them she thought they were going to handcuff her and leave her in the ditch while they searched her rig for contraband.
One big, burly officer laughed and said, “Yeah, but if we’d done that, you could’ve told’em it took six of us to get the job done, and you put one of us in the hospital.”
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Conversation continues about Craig’s proposed emergency family shelter, as a community meeting held Tuesday night was intense at times, but the woman leading the initiative felt it was a positive discussion.