Finding a needle in a haystack is almost an impossible task.
That’s about the same as locating a 900-pound steer in an 1,800-acre Flint Hills pasture.
Timber in the draws makes the job more difficult, and that’s where the cantankerous critters went when they didn’t want to follow the other 400 head that walked right into the catch pen as the cowboy drivers intended.
Actually, there were three ornery ones who were trouble in the cool Saturday morning mist.
Two didn’t hide any better than we could, so despite requiring good cowboys with accurate lariats to get them where they were supposed to be, they didn’t cause as much worry as that last one who went to the forest and hid.
After the loaded semi-trucks were gone, a decision had to be made whether to mount up and do our best to find the missing stray or go eat dinner and come another day.
But, it’s a long ways home, gasoline is high, and time is always a premium, making a return trip quite costly.
Already, more than half of the crew was gone, but us remaining five, a bit begrudgingly, retightened the cinches, put our slickers back on, pulled hats down ever so snug, and took out across the lone prairie.
Divided in two groups, we were diligent in our search of every possible hideaway. But, with the denseness of the brush, if that ornery steer was lying down, and didn’t breathe, we could be within a foot and miss him completely.
It didn’t seem like we’d been gone that long, but we were already a mile from anywhere, with the gut feeling of urgency that we were almost lost our self, when we heard a faint call out of the great beyond.
By some miracle it would seem, the other threesome had found the lost bovine. He moved, they saw him and instantly were in hot pursuit.
Despite his hide-and-seek attitude, that black booger drove across the pasture and jumped in the trailer just like he’d been trained.
Of course, it would have been a lot easier if he’d just came in with the rest, but the lost was found, and that’s what matters.
Reminds us of Luke 15:6: “Rejoice with me, for I have found my treasure which was lost.”