P. O. Box 575  • Sealy, Texas •  979-877-4822  •  alan@cowboysportsnews.com

Big Al's View Of The World


 I can’t recall the place or the time but somewhere in the past month I read a little story in a magazine or on-line. The lady in the story said there was a reason that God gave you two ears and only one mouth. The reason is for you to listen more than you talk. I think you can take it a step further by saying that you also have two eyes. With two eyes and two ears you can sit on the fence and learn a lot and never even use the one thing you have in short supply of, your mouth. My new philosophy in life is just like a good barrel horse or roping horse, mouths can be over used. They only have so many runs in them so choose the runs wisely and don’t just run them to be running. Was I talking about horses or mouths!!! I lost track there for a second.

There are a lot of people, myself included, that have dined on their own feet more than once. That is part of the reason that I just like to sit on the fence so much. You can sit on the fence and just watch and listen, never having to get involved in a conversation of which you probably don’t need to be involved in anyway. Small talk hardly ever stays small for too long. You know the old saying, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” That is not just a good saying, it’s a good life lesson usually learned the hard way.

Fence sitting is an acquired art. It is not something you can just jump into and do on day one. There is always that one group of guys you want to go hang with and see what the conversation is all about. That’s called temptation and that is never good. You have to maintain your perch even when temptation rears its ugly head. I would say for beginners you should try sitting behind the box for awhile. From this location you can still listen in on some things and also be a part of the conversation for others. Roping boxes are always a great source of entertainment with the occasional life threatening episode to keep you on your feet and the blood flowing.

Once you have mastered the back of the box you can usually migrate to the bucking chutes. Make sure there is no activity going on because there is always some old grouchy chute hand that wants you to stand by the highway so he can load his livestock. Bucking chutes can be a great place to sit with your good friend and just enjoy the afternoon or night.

Past the bucking chutes the only other place is the back of the livestock pens. This is reserved for your sure enough loners or hard core guys. I’ve tried it a couple of times but I’m not quite there yet. I still need that little bit of human interaction in my conversations that a bull, bronc or dogging steer just can’t give you.

If your wife drags you to a barrel race then sometimes you have to sit at the top of the bleachers. A barrel race can lead a calf roper to have a sensory overload while watching and listening. When that happens it is probably time to go to the truck and take a nap.

I say all of this in good fun but there is a moral to the story. God gave us two eyes, two ears, two hands and two feet with only one mouth. I don’t know the chapter or verse but there is a verse in the Bible that says something about doing work and keeping yourself busy to avoid something you are not supposed to be doing. I might have read a little more into it but you get the jist of it. Use your hands and feet to stay busy and use your eyes and ears to learn as much as you can before you open your mouth.

Stran Smith has a great article on page 50 this month that kind of hits on some of this. He talks about there being no substitution for the school of hard knocks and I can’t think of any better way to get accepted into the school of hard knocks than to use your mouth more than you do your other senses.

Big Al


June 2017 Cowboy Sports News Magazine

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