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The Double F at Moss Bluff in Marion County was like about every other ranch I ever worked on; it had one or two bad cows that would go out of their way to hook your pants off. Once we identified them, we made it a practice to tip their horns, so they couldn’t do as much damage.
One time while receiving cattle from Dixie County for the Perry Brothers at the Baseline cow pen at Belleview, one of the semi-drivers told us to watch out for a little scrub cow and don’t turn your back on her. She had killed a horse back in Dixie County.
We noticed how she would get behind a bigger cow and the next thing you know she would be right on you. Well, we didn’t just tip her horns; we cut them off even with her head.
We had one cow in particular on the Double F Ranch that was just as sneaky as the Dixie County horse killer. We didn’t fear her enough to cut her horns, but she had put every hand on the ranch on the fence at least once.
One time after we had put the bulls out with the cows, I would go in the pasture in the spring and give the bulls citrus pulp. I had pulled up to three or four bulls that were together and gave then each a little pile of feed. I had walked 20 feet away from my pickup to feed another bull that was with 10 or 12 cows.
I only had a little feed left in the feed sack. When I turned back to my pickup, I heard a snort behind me. When I turned around, the little bad cow with the sharp horns was bearing down on me FAST. The only weapon I had was an empty feed sack.
Well, my daddy always told me to use what you had, so I draped the sack over her head and ran for the pickup and piled in the back just in time before she shook the bag off her head.
You can bet the next time we had her in the cow pen, we tipped those horns!
The above is one of the many stories found in Cedar Key native Bill Roberts’ “All I Ever Wanted to be Was a Cowboy.”