Remember when you were a kid and liked to play cowboy? There isn’t a boy who grew up on a farm or ranch that didn’t play out his fantasies of being Roy Rogers, Gabby Hayes or the like.

I think I played them all, but on one occasion I brought a little bit too much reality into the picture. My friend and I saddled up our ponies and headed for the pasture. With rope in hand, we approached the herd, quietly grazing about a half mile from home.

Little did we know that amongst this herd of cows was a huge horned bull.

Our intent was to try to lasso a little calf, but in our exuberance we disturbed the cattle, causing them to run in every direction. This seemed like even more fun, as we wildly started pursuing those baby calves. With a big loop whirling over my head, throwing aimlessly, I let ‘em fly.

But just as the loop was extended in mid-air, floating in a rotating projection toward my intended target – a bull walked right into the perfectly outstretched loop of the lariat.

It was an instant pain, as the rope grew tight against the half/hitch I had snugged over the saddle horn.

This was not a taught rope with a small calf on the other end; there was no catch and release option. It was just ”hope and pray” that this big bull was going nowhere.

Luckily the bull was reasonably gentle – even halter broke, so he didn’t  panic and wildly run off. However, he did move far enough, and fast enough to pull the saddle right off the horse, with a broken girth and me still in the saddle. The outcome still looked pretty scary.

Fortunately, my buddy was close by and was able to get close enough to the bull to cut me some slack. That was after being drug a few hundred feet, with nothing more hurt and damaged than my pride.

Like that of real life, some lessons are harder to learn than others. While unscathed, it has been a lifetime reminder not to walk into the herd/problem unprepared. With risk comes consequences. Never accidentally GRAB THE BULL BY THE HORNS.

That’s no bull!