by Mark Parker
Parsons, Kansas —
10. Cows hungry enough to be suckered out of the brush, brambles and blackjack by a half-bale of hay on the back of a pickup.
9. Cows too weak to go over or through his pallet-and-bedsprings sorting pen.
8. The cow that mistakenly plunged into the trailer when he jumped out of the way as she tried to pancake him.
7. Cows encumbered by their last three calves still trying to suck.
6. Most of the cows that, on closer inspection, turn out to be two-year old bulls never castrated because the moon sign was never quite right.
5. The cow with the gnarly horns because the neighbor kid who fancies himself a team-roper can actually get a loop on her.
4. Cows the rustlers apparently didn’t want.
3. That one good-looking cow—probably one of yours—because, well heck, she walked right into the trailer.
2. The cow that kicked him smack-dab in the you-know-where the last time he had them gathered.
1. The small cow because she’s the only one left that can be squeezed into the filled-to-capacity trailer. £