Treading Water

The Bobcat is a member of our family. It goes to work with Brad, yes. But it also plays with Brad. It loves to work on Steed Ranch, but when it’s had enough, there’s no pushing it further.

And boy have they (he and our neighbor) pushed that thing to its tantrum-filled limits. They’ve blown hoses and gaskets and gizmos and whirligigs, broken windows and bucket teeth and whatchamacallits. (Those are my very technical Bobcat terms.)

That Bobcat has moved countless pallets of Steed Tile materials and equipment, dirt, trash, trees. It’s cut 4-wheeler trails and pushed brush into the makings of bonfires. Those that know anything about Bobcats, (yeah, I don’t fall into this category. Okay well, maybe. I did learn to drive it!) say you want one with tracks. Tracks are better than wheels. The traction and maneuverability are so much better. And since Brad doesn’t half-ass anything, we got one with tracks.

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One warm February day, I was arriving home from work to see babe and our neighbor working on the fishing pond. The dam needs work and we want to make the pond larger and a better home for the turtles, Bass, and Crappie that live in it.

On this day, they took it too far. The tracks couldn’t save it. It had enough and shut down. And I was right there to witness, just walking down to the pond. They were digging out around the dam, clearing brush and deepening the East side of the dam.

Like a lone synchronized swimmer, the Bobcat gracefully ran the berm in the water, tracks moving individually and simultaneously with the bucket.

But then it tread a little too deep and slowly, and elegantly, sank sideways towards the middle of the pond.

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There was one difference between the Bobcat and a synchronized swimmer, treading water was definitely not the same! The tracks on the Bobcat dug that sucker deep into the mud.

We phoned a friend down the road, who owns much bigger toys, to pull out the poor, defeated little Bobcat that could.

And while most people would be devastated or blowing a gasket of their own, Brad stood and watched as his Bobcat got dragged out of the pond and looked at our neighbor and said, “Maybe we should have quit a little bit sooner.”

You see, it’s his resiliency and bounce-back that keep us from more than just treading water here on Steed Ranch. Any maybe the Bobcat’s too.



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