Well, I heard it said once, that you are not an official cowboy until you have been dragged around by a cow.
Recently, I just might have achieved that status. I had been asked to bring my lariat to a friends house, to catch a renegade calf that they had turned loose in their arena, since they had disced and ripped up the pasture, making it unsafe for the calf. The poor calf had no shade on the hot sand, so taking pity on it, they decided to move it to the backyard to a shady pen. The only problem is that the calf would not get anywhere near you. Hence, me bringing my rope. So, after chasing the calf around and around this arena, I managed to officially rope a cow for the first time. She drug me around the arena for a few seconds till my friends slowed her down and stopped her.
Don't worry, the story isn't as lame as all that. It gets better. Securing a lead rope, we managed to get it into the barn, where we had another round of dragging. This time one of my friends was the victim, and I had to rope her again...sorta... to get her back towards the backyard. Things were calming down after a seemingly adventurous project, but we didn't know the fun hadn't started yet. I led the calf, another friend pushing the stubborn animal, and the other holding my coiled rope. We got her to the backyard, with a few more attempts from the calf to bust loose and run, all of them thankfully thwarted. This is where the fun began. The cow cranked its neck to the opposite side of its body, making me unable to crank her back around towards me when she ran, and did just that - ran, for all that silly cow was worth. I held on all the way across the yard, hauling for all I was worth, trying to get enough traction to slow down this brute weighing four times what I weigh. She curved away from the porch that we had been careening towards, and we thought she would turn and head back into the yard. She surprised all of us, me the most, by turning again and diving headlong into the gargantuan bougainvillea that ran the length of their property. I still managed to hold on, still trying to stop her, surviving the bushes at such a high speed due only to the fact that she would clean the bushes out in front of me, leaving me to be clobbered solely by the branches on the sides that she didn't clean out. Then, after plowing halfway across the yard, she decided she had gone far enough and reversed her steps, and went back through the brush all over again, me trailing along behind, trying to survive the brush and cow. After cornering herself, and then making a final dive out of the brush for open ground, my friends managed to control their laughter and throw my rope around the calfs neck, bringing her to a halt--about time in my opinion. I emerged from this whole ordeal with a few scratches on my arm and a little one on my face----remarkably little compared to what I had been dragged through.
So, I thank God for keeping me safe through all of that, and giving me one of the most enjoyable and remarkable rides of my life. I think it is safe to say that I have obtained official cowboy status, following all regulations and protocol, due to roping my first cow (on foot) and being dragged around by the cow (on foot)-and surviving.