A Prophet With Antlers, a true story that took place in 1956 Arizona.
This true story took place in 1956 Arizona. It deals with a rancher and cowboy dilemma then and now. There is no solution to this problem, but this antlered friend of mine had his own ideas about escaping life’s intrusions. You may need lots of grey in your whiskers to understand this authentic tale. It originated long ago when Arizona was still young and wild. Only a State then for a short spell. Many cowpunchers still wore six-shooters and carried a Winchester rifle in a saddle scabbard. Game was plentiful and many even died from old age instead of an old hunter. Most wild creatures had never encountered a human yet. Especially those critters living in the depths of Sycamore Canyon west of Sedona, Arizona. Magnificently antlered buck deer grew up healthy and large while climbing those rough jagged slopes to graze. Their only enemy, the stealthy cougar, made them alert and quick to escape at the slightest sound of a surprise encounter. Their multi-pointed racks were impossible to count when they were bounding off on the run. Still cowboys tried to count them because they believed each point on one side revealed their years on this earth. They usually were gone from view by the time we counted seven or so.
“Old Hatrack” we named one buck carrying so many points, jumbled around on his noble head, that we never made a proper tally. Still . . . we always tried to be the one to get that number correct! They were interwoven and tangled which sometimes caused death for two bucks that struggled to their death while in playful or serious battle from which they could never untwine. Deep in that canyon one day, but still not on the actual floor of the chasm, I was making a casual ride checking on our supply of salt-lick and our cattle’s general welfare. My briskly striding horse was picking his own way down a long narrowing ridge to the area of Barney Mesa. Barney Springs were still far below us as I entered into the holding area we built, using the topography of this mesa to create a pasture.
Sycamore Canyon was so deep that even partly down into it you would still find high mesas before reaching the bottom. This mesa’s top was shaped like a horseshoe. Encircled by nearly one hundred foot high cliffs, that required no fencing to hold livestock.
This story is continued in George’s Books
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