Monday, January 18, 2010


When my cousin, Scott, first moved to the ranch we gave him Lucky, his first horse. Like many Appaloosa horses, Lucky was night-blind. Unfortunately, he was also a little day-blind too. He had little cow-sense but was broke, sound, and willing to go. He turned out to be a good horse for Scott and a decent metaphor for the "new guy"; neither knew a lot about cows but both were willing to try.

Once, we were gathering cattle out of one of the alfalfa fields and a young cow bolted. Scott turned Lucky loose and the Appy, amazingly, spotted the cow and followed in hot pursuit. Greg and Grant trailed behind and when the cow ducked under a wheelline pipe, they eased up. Not Lucky. He pinned his ears back, leaped, and cleared the wheelline like he was in steeplechase. My brothers were shamed into spurring their horses on to do the same. When they all had landed safely on the other side and had the cow pointed back to the herd, my brothers looked at Scott like he was nuts. He didn't know that most eighteen-year old, blind Appys can't leap over small sticks, let alone a wheelline, and Lucky didn't know that Scott wasn't some old top-hand from the Rio Grande. The joke around the ranch was the neither knew any better. Scott was Lucky; Lucky was Scott.

Grady is the same way. He thinks that his big sister is the coolest thing since pee-pee tee-pees. We think it's because he doesn't know any better. Dylan pokes, smothers, head-butts, and smacks the little man around, but from the look on his face, you'd think she'd just offered a tub of applesauce and a warm bottle.

I was "in charge" of the rug-rats one day while Regina was out and turned my attention away for only a few minutes (I swear). When I turned back around, Dylan had stacked several large books on Grady's face, a giant, smothering pillow on top of that, and a blanket, which covered Grady's entire body, topped it off. My heart raced faster with each layer I pulled off. When I finally cleared the last, and largest, book from Grady's face, he was grinning ear to ear. Attention from my sister, his look told me, I love it!

This morning, Regina set Grady in his bouncy chair. Dylan was keeping him entertained and things were going well until Regina caught Dylan pulling the bouncy chair all the way to the floor, then boooiiiing, letting loose and using Grady as a human catapult. Fortunately, he's too heavy to really fly and he thought what his big sis was doing was the funniest thing in the world.

This mauling will continue, I'm sure, until he's old enough to retaliate. As long as he's happy with it, though, it's hard to get too angry with Dylan. She gets occupied with entertaining her brother, Grady's happy at being knocked around, and we get a few minutes of uninterrupted time to do things like use the bathroom or cook dinner. Besides, Dylan hasn't hurt him, yet. Maybe Grady is just lucky. Or, Lucky is Grady.

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