Our story comes from the real-life character Mason Henry Blue. First, let me say that I didn’t believe the name either until I had the pleasure to talk to Mason on the phone. He is about as real and down-home country as a man can get. He wanted to tell us a story. Mason said that he heard the podcast we had some time ago with author Alan Day. He loved Alan’s interview so much that he wanted to tell one of his tales to match. You can listen to that interview with Alan Day in RAS #166 – The Horse Lover. Mason’s Story can be heard on RAS #334 – Mason Henry Blue. He came back for another story and we told that one on RAS #422 – Billy The Donkey. Great Story!
My name is Mason Henry Blue. My friends just call me “Buckles”. I got the name during my rodeo years. I earned a few of them a time or two. My story comes from the late 1940’s. I was a young man just about 18 years old. My folks had just given me the get out and about or take over the farm speech. I chose to get out.
I began working at a place near Dallas called the South-Fork Ranch. My job those early years was to clean the bunkhouse, wash clothes and help the cook. Later I became the handyman and protector. There were two predators there that had to be dealt with. Coyotes and Spiders. The spiders were recluse and black widows. The coyotes? Well, they were just trouble.
One morning Beth, the owner’s wife, told me to get up in the hills to stop a pack that had been taking her chickens at night. In those days there was a bounty on the critters, so I was pleased at the chance for some extra cash. I loaded up with traps, my long gun, supplies and off I went.
I made camp along a creek in the nearby hills. It was winter and I knew two things about coyotes. They need food and water. Chickens for the food and creek for the water. That first day was all about setting up camp and fixing any broken traps. Day two was finding their trails and setting traps. That night I heard their howls so I knew I was in the right place.
The next day I checked my traps and most of them had been tripped and the meat was gone. I almost expected a note from the coyotes saying, “Thanks for the grub, lunk-head”.
I decided these guys were going to require the night hunter. I found the trail most likely used to get to the chickens, built a sort of tree perch and set myself for the night. It wasn’t too long before I fell asleep. That is when the growls began. I grabbed my flashlight and sure enough right below me was a pack of hungry dogs all looking up at me like I was dinner. I reached for my rifle and was surprised when it was gone. I flashed the light around a bit and found it right down there leaning on the tree where I had left it. I slapped my forehead and was glad that Coyotes can’t climb trees.
It was a long, cold and dark night. I had nothing to do so I had me a conversation with them yelps. We talked about the wrongs of eating chickens and where they could find a large barrow of rabbits. The pups arrived with their mamas and it got to be a big ole camp meeting. Except I was the preacher and they were my flock. I must have fallen asleep again, cuz when I woke up they were all gone.
I went back to camp and it came as no surprise it was torn to pieces. Every spec of food gone. I packed up, tucked my tail in-between my legs and headed home. When the misses asked about the trip I just said I had a long talk with them and they won’t be bothering us anymore. The funny thing was they never did.
Mason Henry Blue – Dallas, Texas
This Week’s Podcast: On the show this week we have a western-based theme. This is something we have not done in a while. Our featured story starts out as a typical Range War but ends with a twist that you won’t see coming. We will also have a listener tale from New Mexico. It relates to the history and times of Black Jack Ketchum. You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from Apple Podcasts, stream it on Stitcher Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer the radio? We are heard every Thursday at 10:00 pm and Sunday Night at 11:00 PM (EST) on AMFM247.COM. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link