Destructive storms of the past were a main topic of intent tales both before and after Hurricane Patricia’s arrival last Friday.
A close Mexican friend reminded me of the wind-whipped storm that had hit mountains overlooking his local fields and pastures. There I had kept a small herd of stock in exchange for helping him with planting and harvesting. Mexico was an agricultural economy then. Livestock possessed critical value.
After a taste of rough preliminary winds that long-past rainy season, Guicho Padilla helped me get ready to look for some missing animals. We hoped rainstorms wouldn’t block my search for run-away stock – some round-up steers, some dry milk cows, plus his dappled stallion. I was missing two geldings and a young bull.
Fences were down, the trail nearly washed away by heavy mountain run-off as Guicho wished me “buena suerte”. Tracks were barely discernible, but good enough. I was aboard a young gray gelding called Alacran Dos. He was still spooky. But like his mother, he was had stamina. No ride was too rough or too long. Yet much of the world still made him jumpy.
The soil up where my friends and I did much of our work was mostly clay, slippery as a ski slope in heavy storms. My mount was jumpy as we ran into a protril (colt pasture) that the early storm had worked over. It was partly a jungle of tall wild weeds and brush. The barbed wire fencing was sagging, the posts loose. Squinting at the sky, I said aloud, “The stock first, fixing this mess afterwards.”
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