There’s an old saying, “A mule is as good as a horse, till you need a horse.” Or, of course, the revorse! I saw a photo in the newspaper of a man standing in the surf trying to throw a rope around the tail of a beached baby humpback whale. My first thought was, “A marine mammal biologist is as good as a cowboy, till you need a cowboy.”

How many times have you thought that yourself? “If only I had a cowboy.”

Like two years ago when your cat got stuck up a tree: Sure, you called a fireman. They showed up with sirens blaring and lights flashing! Then they broke out the ladders and attempted to climb up the tree.

A cowboy would simply have roped the limb, dallied and bent the limb back double. Then, with true cowboy clarity, he would have shucked the dally, released the limb and catapulted the cat into the neighbor’s stock tank where the Navy Seals could have rescued him!

Or, say you were being picketed by HSUS, PETA, and the lunatic fringe for texting non-organic messages to caged hens encouraging them to “Lay one for the team.” You realize that reasonable dialogue with moon-eyed zealots is futile so you call a cowboy.


He rides through the protesters, scattering a wagonload of Hefty bags filled with chicken noodle soup, which drenches the crowd. Then he calls the dogs, who rush in and lick the whining protesters, who slosh down the road with the dogs nipping at their heels.

Remember those times when the pigs got loose in the house and uprooted all your potted plants? Or when your pet camel fell through the swimming pool cover while grazing on the algae? Or when your daughter brought home a suitor with his head shaved like a soccer ball, a stolen credit card, and was a recidivist paint can sniffer? Oh, what you would have given for a cowboy.

Maybe we should start a non-profit foundation funded by the United Cowboy Way, wherein each county could maintain a couple of cowboys-on-call. They would function like a cross between a paramedic, a dogcatcher and a psychologist, to handle the myriad of emergencies that cry for a man with a horse and a rope.

Think about that the next time you accidentally drop your heirloom Donald Duck lunch bucket down an abandoned missile silo or a rhino gets loose in the high school gym.

Remember, a 35-piece marching band is as good as a cowboy, till you need someone to rope a renegade tuba! PD