A Short Story on the Website of
the Red Dirt Writers Society

Hubert the Longhorn and the Three-wheeler
by Rosemary Eskridge (Jul 2013)


Riding fence lines on horse back usually took all day. I had a meeting in town so I decided to take my three-wheeler instead of my horse and follow the fence line to where some of the larger bulls had been butting at the fence posts causing some stress on the barb wire. I put some wire cutters and pliers in the seat compartment and tied a couple of posts and a shovel across the seat of the three wheeler so they would not fall off as I stood on the back steps and rode across the open range.

As expected the small group of cattle had the fence line drooping with one post broken at an angle. I stopped the three-wheeler and walked toward the fence carrying the shovel in one hand and the post under my other arm. I started digging a new hole. Tex, the largest bull started scuffing his hoof on the hard ground stirring up dirt. I watched him fearing what he was planning.

Then it was obvious… He started charging toward me at full speed. I ran as fast as I could to the three-wheeler and jumped on the back. I hit the starter and the engine never even clicked. I jumped off, spotted a large oak and headed for it wishing I could fly. I hid behind the tree watching every move that the bull made. He came toward me and charged at the tree. I ducked and dodged which seemed to amuse the bull.

Tex turned around and charged the three-wheeler. His horns caught the wheel covers, flipped it over on its side and then pleased with himself wandered back to where the rest of the cattle were standing.

I quietly sneaked back to the three wheeler, turned it right side up and stepped upon the back footsteps. I heard this hard pounding coming up behind me and Tex had steam blowing from his nostrils as he crossed the pasture toward me.

I hit the start button again. This time the engine engaged and lurched forward. I hung on for dear life but without realizing a small tree was directly in my path. The tree folded forward underneath the left side of my three-wheeler, popped up as the wheel cleared, caught my left boot, and totally pitched me off the three-wheeler. Sitting up, I looked over my shoulder and sure enough Tex was still on the run breathing fire and darts with every step.

 I suddenly realized that the three-wheeler was heading down the path without a driver. So without hesitation I started a sprint to end all sprints. I chased the three-wheeler at full speed, took one leap, and landed right on the back steps with the bull just a few steps away. Tex turned his head furiously and tore just a small section of my sleeve with his horn and came to a dead stop as I happily escaped down the trail.


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