Confessions of a Cowgirl - Volume II
By Amy C. Witt
It was close to dusk as we started riding back to the house. My colt, Moon, the dogs and I, had a rather smooth day checking new babies. When my parents left, they left me with everything. For a while, I thought I had lost my mind. Many days, I would jump on my horse and ride. I would be so caught up in my own self, I would neglect to tell Jimmy, my hired cowboy, where I would go as he always came to find me if I wasn’t home before dusk.
I found the Montgomery Meadow three years ago by accident. I had snuck-up on a pack of wolves who had tried to drag off a baby calf in the field that bordered the meadow.
As I was running down the pack of wolves, I pulled out my .410 pistol to draw a bead on the alpha wolf. As I slid my horse to a stop, to take out the alpha-wolf, who had caused me heart ache and sorrow many times, I completely stopped my draw. As I slowly looked up, I was captivated by the beauty and energy of the meadow.
The sun, hitting every piece of life with sunshine, turned the air into glitter. Blues and Hairstreaks, Swallowtails, and brush-footed butterflies waltzed among the wild flowers. The music of water danced over the rocks as every flower began to tango. Orchids, Poppys, Milkmaids, roses, Paintbrush swayed freely among each other as the wind sang a thoughtful tune. There was a sense of magic in the air and reassurance that everything would be okay. This was my meadow, a meadow just for me.
And in that moment of being intoxicated by the meadow, I look up to see a hefty coyote sneaking up on my good cow dog, Cookie, who is relaxing under a tree near the stream. I pull my pistol from my holster on my hip and pull the trigger. It clicks, I am out of bullets! How the hell am I out of bullets? I frantically reach to the bottom of my saddle bag, finding out quickly that all of my bullets fell out of a small hole from the weathered leather.
I revert to my only option. I had had it with coyotes, wolves and bears over the last month and finally was going to do something about it. Whipping and spurring, I charge the coyote. Wide-eyed, the coyote knowing he had been spotted, bolts! Bolting across the river, running to an opening in the flat, I quickly reach up to smash my hat down on my head. As I push Moon faster, he puts his ears back and runs straight for the coyote. I sit-up and throw my rope pulling my slack hard and fast and dally quickly. As the coyote screams and jerks on the end of the rope, my dogs come running.
With a loss for words, or a reaction, I realized I had a huge wile e coyote at the end of my line. I keep the rope tight as the dallied coyote flops like a fish out of water on the end of my rope. As I reach down with my teeth to grab my reins that are slipping out of my hand, I think I hear something.
“Wait, wait, wait…” I hear screeching.
“What?” I say, jerking my eyes about my surroundings.
I, then realize I’ve lost my mind.
“WAAAAIIIIIIIT!” I hear again, but this time a scream.
As I look up, I see the coyote coming towards me….TALKING!!!
“Wait, I know about this meadow. I know about your parents. I know everything about you.”
“Ugh, umm…” I reply, speechless.
“I have lived on this ranch for many of years. I have watched you grow. I watch you ride and I follow you,” the coyote continues.
“But you’re a coyote!! Like, this isn’t possible, I have lost my mind!”
At this point the coyote is approximately 20 yards from me, lined up with Moon’s head, still roped but with slack in between us.
“And if you think this meadow is something…you haven’t seen nothing yet cowgirl. You have so much to discover out here about yourself. Now, will you take this rope off of me?”
“Wait just one second. Don’t you dare take one more step near me or I will dally and ride so hard you won’t know what hit you. Now, tell me why and how I am talking to you. I mean how are you even talking to me?” as I frantically yell at the coyote.
“You can call me Yote,” I am of the eldest of the coyotes.
“Okay, Yote…I mean, I am a human and I am out here talking to a coyote, let alone he's asking me to call him Yote.”
“Yep!” the coyote says with a smile on his teeth, “Why don’t you follow me? I have something to show you. I think it’s probably something you need to see.”
“Well, how far is it? It’s almost dark.”
“Not too far. And…don’t worry, we’ll have light by the moon to follow back home. I’ll make sure you are safe back at home.”
I realized in that moment, while I was following Yote to this secret location, that I had nothing to lose. I mean, today had been an adventure already and finding the meadow alone was like finding gold. There’s nothing this Yote could show me that I hadn’t already seen.
“Hey, you know what Yote, I should still shoot you,” I yell as I stop dead in my tracks.
“And why, my dear, would you do that?"
“You were going to attack my cow dog, Cookie!” I scream.
“I know your cow dog. And no, we were actually going to meet at the river. Cookie and I go way back!”
“What do you mean you were meeting at the river?”
“Well, I protect you. I protect her. I protect this ranch. I have followed you all day as you doctored that Hereford with the bad eye. I saw you pick that Poppy and put it in your hair. I watched you struggle fixing that barb-wire gate at the Jackson Flat.”
“Oh my gawwwd…you do know,” as my tone changes.
“Well, we are about to arrive at our destination Madam Cowgirl. You need to tie Moon to that tree and get off. Cookie, you stay here with Moon. If we don’t come back, run to the house and scratch at Jimmy’s door. He’ll know,” Yote says as he begins to walk to the top of a rock pile.
There’s a full moon brightening the sky as crickets begin to play their violins and frogs ballet in the wind. The sky is clear and the air is crisp. The stars begin to decorate the sky as the night life begins to wonder.
“Yote, I am scared of the dark and I have no bullets on me. My saddle bag has a small hole in it and…”
“Yeah, I know! Thank GAAWDDD!! Or I would have been a goner,” Yote raises his voice. “Little girl, you have a lot to learn.”
“But…how…how in the hell was I to know?” I ask as I crawl over the rock pile and down the other side.
A shot of electricity runs down my body as I stop dead in my tracks. The sounds of the rattle snake’s buttons scream in my ear and run down the back of my neck.
“Yootteee…” I say quietly yet panicked. “Where are you? What do I do?” I whisper as fur runs up the back of my leg as I go falling down a long black hole.
To Be Continued.
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