Keeping track of large and small

Some people are losers and some are finders. I am the champion loser. I lose sunglasses, letters, coin purses, check books. and frequently, my wits. Marguerite, who works on the horse ranch which joins our land, is a finder. She is good at finding mislaid objects that she even brags a little. One day when I was attempting to tidy up the house, and waging a losing battle, Marguerite came along. I was searching for a certain attachment my vacuum cleaner needed. "I'll find it." said Marguerite, and went straight to a corner where I'd looked before and there the thing was.

I said, "Bet you can't find that brush attachment that I need for dusting. I just know that either Macho or Robert lugged it outdoors when I wasn't looking."

She said that she didn't have time to find it then but that she'd look for it later -- although if one of the dogs had taken it out it might be only a ruin when she found it.

I blame my Afghan puppy, Macho, for a number losses. He is too big to be called a puppy, although he has all the destructive abilities attributed to puppyhood. When he's up on his back legs he is as tall as I am, and that makes it handy for him to remove books from top shelves and reach magazines and papers , which he enjoys demolishing. I was sure that he'd made off with a horse bridle, but finally I found it when I was searching for another lost treasure. This is one comfort about being a loser; when looking for something newly mislaid, it is possible to come across some long-lost possession.

I keep losing one of the cows, Cressie. It isn't that I've mislaid a cow; it's simply that she and others of mine went through a gate that I had padlocked in order to keep out the deer hunters. Not that animals actually went through a locked gate; they went through a destroyed gate, a gate that some trespasser had rearranged for his convenience. Of course this made it convenient for my livestock, which moved out to the big cattle range and joined a herd there.

After the gate was repaired, Marguerite and I rode out and she spotted my cows before I did. We got all but one home, but not even Marguerite could find Cressie. Finally Tom and I rode and found Cressie, who objected as usual to coming home. It was hard work, but we thought we had won after we chased her into her own pasture. Almost immediately, however, she scrambled through a fence, charged down a heavily wooded canyon, and disappeared.

Next I lost the key to the padlocked gate and searched for it all morning; I went back to where I'd last used it, thinking that it must have dropped out of my pocket, but where? Marguerite said she'd come over after work and find it. However, I found the key when I was washing some clothes. I had placed it in a different pocket from the one where it is usually stored. I asked Marguerite to please help me find my wits. Anyway, I had a nicely washed key.

Late that afternoon Tom and Marguerite came riding and I hurried to catch my horse.

"This time we'll get Cressie," Marguerite announced cheerfully. "After all, this is your good day; you found your key all by yourself."

We rode in various directions for some time, scanning dusty trails for cow tracks. We came upon a small herd, but Cressie wasn't with them. An hour later Marguerite said, "There's Cressie!"

It couldn't have been a better place to find her. She was with a small group of cattle, not far from a gate that opens into one of our pastures. As we approached, Cressie gave a wild look out of one eye and appeared ready to vanish. Fortunately she seemed to have made friends with an older cow, and that cow wasn't startled by us. She and Cressied walked away a few steps and then turned to watch as Tom opened the gate. Very carefully Marguerite and I moved Cressie and her friend toward the gate, and when the older cow walked through, Cressie followed.

Knowing her ability to dive through fences, I decided to leave both animals where they were. If we tried to chase Cressie to the corral by the barn she'd surely rebel, and the older cow would get into the same mood. Here there was plenty of forage, and perhaps my little cow would remember that she had once lived here and so come down to the watering trough. I'd just have to borrow the older cow until, before long, Cressie had a calf. Surely then she'd want to stay home and take care of it.

This is an opinion I hope not to lose.

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