Joe N. Brown
Joe N. Brown

In the late 1940’s, we were ranching on block 155 in southern Pecos County. It was a typical small family ranch at this time. To further the description, we had chickens, turkeys, and milk cows around the house. Each had it’s purpose in our way of life.

There was one other animal who is the basis of this story. To run the five milk cows, we had a black Jersey bull. His purpose was to propagate calves which we raised and ate at the proper time.

Now, this bull was not huge, probably typical Jersey stock. He stood about five-feet tall at the shoulders, was coal black, had no horns and probably weighed 900 lbs. Before getting to the actual happening, let’s get some more background.

Leading into the milking sheds was a chute about four-feet wide, 12-feet long, with gates on each end. It did not take long for two teenaged boys to decide that this was a perfect, but crude, bucking chute. It opened out into the bronco pen where a huge, solid snubbing post sat in the very middle. Now you have the place and the time.

Two teenaged boys can always find some sort of trouble to get into. Same as here. I convinced Tom that this gentle four-year-old bull did not know how to buck. All he had to do was sit on the bull as he ran around the pen.

I being the older got Tom to believe this so that he could brag about having ridden a bull. We got the bull in the gate, then I got a heavy grass rope from the saddle house. With this around the bull’s waist I built a surcingle bull rope.

I put Tom on the bull, then puled the rope tight on both his hands. Asking if he was ready to ride, Tom just nodded. I opened the outside gate and then everything went south.

Our gentle Jersey bull charged out of the chute, made two high jumps then turned right to avoid the big snubbing post. At that point, Tom lost his grip and sailed head first into the post, hitting it head-on as the bull lost him.

Tom melted down that post like water running off a tin roof.

Running over to him, I turned Tom over and talked to him. All I got was a glassy-eyed look but no movement and definitely no answer.

After I patted him on the face with no result and I pumped on his chest about three times, still no result.

At that time, I began to think I had killed my younger brother and how was I going to explain this to our parents! Remembering the water trough, I grabbed a milk bucket and filled it with water which I sloshed on Tom’s head and face.

Tom groaned and sat up, then asked, “What happened?”

Without going into detail, I described to Tom that he had made one heck of a bull ride for two jumps.

Convincing him our parents did not need to know anything about this happening, he agreed after believing the story of his great bull ride. I breathed a sigh of relief because for a while I thought I’d killed my little brother!