Jim Gray in Ellsworth Kansas, a Scot of MacClean ancestry is
the owner and operator of the Drover's Mercantile in Ellsworth. He is the Editor in Chief
of the Kansas Cowboy newpaper. Jim is a several generation Scot cattleman in the area and
a real neat and personable character...Here is a story he authored for the last edition of
The neighbor had called the other day to tell me he had finally penned my stray bull.
"ya kin get him any time you want but there aint no water in the pen." Ever time
my neighbor on the other side of me has an animal in the pasture, he calls me to see if it
is one of mine.
About four years ago, I turned this youngster out with an older bull to cover around 75
cows. Along about the middle of summer he turned up missin and soon enough I located im
across the fence or what was left of the fence. !!
The old bull on the other side and my young fella must have met over the fence that turned
into a brawl!! Luckily he wasn't interested in stayin in the new domain and with a little
"coaxing", with the bumper of my pickup truck, the bull finally got on my side
of the fence.
A couple weeks later he was gone again. The fence wasn't tore up this time and I was in a
rush so I didn't go lookin for im right away. A few days later he was back again an'
everything was fine. Thought maybe he had grown out of his wanderlust over the winter.
Well, the Faris pasture was 8 miles south so I figure the bull had gone visiting again.
So this went along all summer with the bull going to visit and stay gone for a while then
come back to my ranch. I checked my fences and they seemed okay so I did not think too
much about it. After all, my bull was pretty chummy with the neighbors cows by this time
so the neighbors bull did not mind sharing.
My neighbor didn't seem to mind my bull visiting his cows as my bull was a good Scottish
bred stock and my neighbor's cow were getting bred from good stock !! But I still swore I
was gonna sel 'im as I never had a bull that had a hankerin for the neighbor ladies
before. It was down right aggravatin !! Then the old bull died so I was determined to hang
on to the young'un at least one more year.
Another winter at home and never got out of the fence!! Come spring, we were turnin him
out to pasture again. This time I braced for the worst and strung extra wire on top of
wire and watched that bull like a hawk..!! To my surprise, he stayed in his own pasture.
Summer came and went and not one time did he stray..I was so proud of that bull....I did
not even think when I turned him out to the pasture.
As the weeks went by, I got a little nervous when I drove thru the herd and he wasn't with
the cows...then here he would come lumbering up from the crick, so I did not think
anything about him. Since I have the Mercantile in town, I stay purty busy with all the
goins on there and the bull sorta came secondary.
But then he disappeared again, I would drive the fence row and scout out the neighbors
pastures and never caught sight of him...I just knew my prize bull had died down in one of
the gulleys...!!! Then out of the blue, he showed up..
I know he is only a dumb bull but I was feelin like I'd been taken advantage of. Had fed
him all winter long and come spring, turned him out in the beautiful big pasture with all
his girl friends...all he had to do was eat and cavort with the ladies and that bull
decided to go to the neighbors old cows. I always wondered why the neighbor never bought a
bull....he figured mine would be along in due time..!!
I caught up with the neighbor on the road one day and told him I would go in his pasture
on my horse and cut out my bull and take him home..I assured the neighbor my bull was
going to town and be sold as soon as possible. To my surprise, the man was nodding his
head "yes" and to my surprise he had a new bull of his own...!!
Well here I am, driving down the road trying to get my bull back to the ranch, I would
have gone straight to the sale barn but it was not open yet and I was in a hurry. Reckon I
will just put my bull in my pasture for now but in a week or two, BY GUM !!, that bull is
goin to the sale barn...for sure!
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