Wednesday, February 17, 2010

That's a Lot of Bull . . . or Why Cheri Should Stay Away from Rodeos

So there I was, minding my own business, watching a miniature bull rodeo. It was a first for me, something my husband has been after me to witness for quite some time. One of his co-workers owns a herd of miniature bulls and he takes them around to various rodeos for youngsters. Kennon has attended at least one of these youth-oriented rodeos during the past year, and he couldn't say enough good about it.

Last weekend, one of these events was taking place near where we were staying in Blackfoot, in an indoor arena in Pingree, Idaho and we decided to attend. The miniature stock was provided by Casperson's Miniature Rodeo Bulls owned by Kennon's friend\co-worker.

It was interesting to watch. As a mother of all boys, I did my share of wincing as each young lad climbed aboard one of these feisty beasts. ;) Several boys were launched into the air, but only one seemed to limp for a while, after the bull he was riding rammed the poor kid's knee into a post. But in true cowboy fashion, he shook off the injury and insisted on another ride. Go figure.

People who know me well are stunned when I forget to bring along one of my trusty cameras while traveling. =) Well, I totally spaced bringing one with me last weekend. As I sat watching the miniature bull adventure, I found myself wishing I could snap a few photos. Then it occurred to me that I did have a small camera nestling inside my purse . . . my cell phone.

"Eureka," I thought as I pulled it out. Anyone familiar with using a cell phone camera knows that they come with certain limitations. Despite this, I was determined to get at least one good picture. I stood up in front of where I had been sitting in a camp chair and aimed the cell phone camera at the arena. I found that I couldn't zoom in very close at all from that location, so I moved closer. Pretty soon I was standing next to one of the metal panels that formed the rodeo arena. If I stuck my arm through the opening between the metal bars, I could zoom in closer for a better picture. My next challenge was holding still enough to take a clear shot, which is rather tough to do with a camera phone.

I took several shots, most of them a blurry mess since my chosen subjects refused to hold still. Wanting to get at least one good shot of the miniature bulls, I tried again, this time bracing my body against the metal panel. Finally I was taking shots I figured I could send to my sons later on, showing them what we had done for entertainment that weekend.

The miniature bull bucked and performed nicely for me, and the rider was still attached. The bull moved closer to where I was standing and I silently cheered, knowing I was getting another good shot. This is the picture I snapped just before the silly thing plowed into the panel where I was standing:

Yep, suddenly I was the one who was launched into the air. It all happened so fast, I wasn't sure what had taken place. One minute I was taking the bull's picture, and the next thing I knew, I was flying end over end backwards. I managed to hit into a space-heater along the way, effectively knocking it over. Nice.

Amazingly, I wasn't seriously injured, aside from my pride. Everyone who saw my graceless moment, roared with laughter when they saw that I was okay. My sister-in-law helped to break my fall, and dusted me off as I stood up. The next problem was the space-heater which was lying face-down in the dirt. People were freaking out about that, and I felt bad, knowing I was the one who had knocked it flat. So I reached to pick it up, and discovered that it was extremely hot. The good news is I only burned two fingers while trying to straighten it into place. And the heater wasn't damaged.

A few bruises formed for me later on, and I had popped a rib out of place compliments of that little adventure, but all in all, I was lucky. From what everyone told me who witnessed this event, I really could have been hurt\and\or\burned.

I know this, despite the small size of these critters, they pack a wallop, and they are to be respected. Or as my mother was always telling me as I was growing up, "Good things come in small packages." ;)

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