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Tales of a Hay Hauler: A matter of honor

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Columns - Brad Nelson
Friday, 30 October 2009 05:25

A father related this story to me. A young man hitched a ride out to visit with his daughter. Their home was about 10 miles from Mountain Home, Idaho. After an adequate visit, it turned out that the young man needed a ride home.

The daughter consented to drive him home, and she got permission from her father to use the family car. Once underway, the young man leaned over to check the gas gauge. Since they had a full tank of gas, he suggested they could run into Boise and catch a movie.

The daughter, it seems, had mixed emotions about this individual from the start, and this request sealed his fate. She explained to him that her parents had trusted her to take him home and then return home. He came back by suggesting she tell her parents the pair had spent the time visiting with his parents.

In front of his home, she ordered him out of the car and told him not to bother calling her again. She was incensed he would suggest they take her parent’s car to Boise without them knowing where they were going and then lie to them about where they had been.

The trust her parents had in her was one of the things she did not intend to destroy. How grateful she should be her parents taught her the twin virtues of trust and honor.

In that car ride, she lost what little respect she had for the young man and showed by her fortitude and actions how valuable the trust of her father was to her.

In Charleston, Nevada, a young woman took her father’s 3/4-ton four-wheel-drive pickup and went for a drive to show a visitor the area. The visitor eventually wanted to drive the pickup. The inevitable happened.

He missed the turn onto a primitive bridge and left the pickup in a precarious position, one front wheel and one rear wheel hanging in the air. The frame of the truck was solidly holding it from going anywhere. It was summertime, and at nearly 10 p.m. as daylight faded, they pondered the situation.

The best suggestion the visitor had was to walk back to the ranch for help. She refused, and explained that in this neck of the sagebrush and juniper when someone got into a jam, such as he had just gotten them into, they get themselves out of it, too.

She explained to him that she intended to drive the pickup home that night and if he wanted a ride back to the ranch it would be wise for him to follow her directions, since he had not a clue what to do on his own. The bridge her companion had missed crossed an almost dry creekbed full of bowling ball-sized rocks of all shapes.

They spent more than a couple of hours carrying rocks from the creekbed to the pickup. First, they stacked up a pile of rocks suitable to support the handyman jack that was in the bed of the pickup. When the jack lifted the truck, they stacked river rock under one of the wheels that was hanging in the air.

They lifted the truck up with the jack and placed rock under the other airborne wheel until the wheels held the truck off of its frame. An hour later they had adequate rock in place to let the jack down and back the truck out of its precarious predicament and onto the road. Since by now it was close to 4 a.m., they decided they did not need to see what was across the bridge.

The young lady told him she was going to drive back to the ranch, and he did not protest. There was a light on at the ranch house, but the whole household was asleep. Mom and Dad were not sleeping very soundly until after the wanderers returned. At breakfast, the visitor expressed a bit of disbelief that no one came looking for them.

The rancher put things into perspective with a few very plain words. He explained that his daughter knew the area very well, and she knew how to take care of herself.

He then very casually mentioned she had been helping dehorn and castrate cattle since she was five years old. He ended the discussion by stating, “I don’t think she was the one in danger of getting hurt.”  PD


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