Search just our sites by using our customised search engine

Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Donna's Journal
Drought 1941

      The children stood holding to the chain link fence around the yard of their home on the prairie. Something unusual was happening. The quiet uneventful days were now interrupted with activity. Men on horses were riding to and fro, back and forth alongside the fast-moving herd in the pasture across from the ranch home that was called “The Strike Ax.”  The gates to two pastures were open and it was obvious the cattle were hurriedly on their way going toward something.  The girl and her brother were too young to know about any crisis. Their world was filled with play and activities within the large, fenced yard which was shaded by a huge old maple tree whose branches touched the ground in places. The shade it gave covered the whole yard.

    The cowboys were working as they always did with a herd. One might whistle in a shrill, staccato way as he turned his horse and headed off in a totally different direction. Another pulled a Stetson hat from his head and waved it as a signal to another rider. The herd was quickly moving toward the gate and was followed by the drag men who pushed the less willing cattle at the end of the line,  along. The men's faces and clothing were covered with dust from the herd there at the end and less popular place to work a cattle drive.

    It must have been the smell of the water that caused the cattle to run like they were in a stampede. If the full, but rented-pond in the next pasture wasn't so close there would have been an unstoppable run-away.  A second ago there  had been a lolling herd by now their hooves  made a thundering sound as they raced through the two gates of both pastures.

    As the children watched the thirsty herd so many of the cattle drank so much water they were actually buoyant on the water. Their bloated stomachs seemed to make them actually float. It was a sight the children never forgot. This was in the early part of the year of 1941. The drought had caused the pastures of what had been protein rich, blue stem prairie grass to be depleted. This had caused their father and uncle to have to haul hay in from other parts of the country for cattle feed. Water was a problem not so easily met. The ponds were dry. A well that had never gone dry was something the men wanted to save for human use. By some blessing a neighbor's pond was still holding water and he had no herd of his own at the time in that pasture so he willingly leased the pond to them.
    “I wouldn't have had those cattle running like they did,” Lee spoke to Velma over their evening meal. “There's no accounting for the way hands have always worked cattle. I guess all's well that ends well, though. We didn't lose any calves, and that is something.”

Return to Donna's Journal Index Page


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus