Bird Creek Ranch
Today, as our pickup climbed to the top of our hill pasture, I couldn’t help but think of my dad and our trips to bring in our horses from their home overlooking Bird Creek and its run into the Missouri River.  
Pock-marked with sand wallows created by the bison of another age, our hill pasture is a field with waves of rippling grass, dotted by prickly bushes of budding wild roses and marked by steep-sided cuts.  
This was the terrain of the wild pickup rides of my youth.  Our herd of horses lived there year round, high above the swarms of lower-land mosquitoes in the summer and supplied with lush pasture and open spring water during the winter.  They didn’t make the trade of their freedom for a saddle easily.  It required a pickup and a driver who intimately knew the land’s contours to bring in the horses.  And my dad loved the challenge of that game played so expertly by the horses.  
But we didn’t trek up the hill to bring in the horses.  Ours was a trip to complete a task.  But the memory of those chases remain – along with the man who found such joy in the excitement.
This was a fitting day for such a memory journey.  Richard H. Jones would have celebrated his 100th birthday today!
© 2013 E.L. Kittredge
Sunday, June 9, 2013