How To Use Move #33 of the Cowboy Kung-Fu Handbook

by Kevin on May 14, 2010

“It’s a bull calf!” I hollered as I settled in on the head side of the calf we were about to brand. I had my leg on it’s neck and I had the left front leg bent in half at the knee so the calf wouldn’t be able to move. Was this the tenth calf we had flanked or was it the fiftieth? Anything more than about five all seems the same until the cowboss says the last one has been marked.

My buddy was faced towards me with the left hind leg of the calf stretched out tight. This created a smooth, open surface for the rancher’s brand to be placed. Activity was buzzin’ all around us as two teams of flankers wrestled their calves to the ground. The draggers didn’t seem to miss a loop as they gathered in all the calves to be delivered to us.

Some cowboys had ear taggin’ guns. Others had the shots for the vaccinations. Most of the time, cowboys did double duties and juggled brandin’ irons, ear guns, and syringes. Everyone had their job to do and the pen was a cowboy dance hall complete with dust choked throats and bawlin’ cattle.

The sight of cowboys flankin’ calves on the first try. The smells of burnin’ hide. The sound of hoof beats as the ropers dragged in another calf. The feel of bruises forming from the big calves feet as they kicked and fought to break free. All of this mayhem was shattered by the dreaded call of, “Watch out!!”

Without our calf finished, my buddy’s eyes grew wide as he let the hind leg go and jumped to his feet. All around me cowboys were diving for cover. I didn’t dare turn around and look. My goal was to get out of the way first and ask questions later. As I attempted to jump to my feet, the big calf I had been holdin’ took revenge on me and kicked me flat on my rear before I was able to stand completely up.

From my flat-backed position, I tilted my head back to see what the ruckus was about. All I could see was 1500 pounds of mad mama cow comin’ to pay someone back for makin’ a steer out of her little bull.

In a split second, 33 cowboy kung-fu reactions blazed through my mind as I sorted them in range of effectiveness for this situation. With 32 of them disregarded because of one reason or another, I settled on #33.

Move #33 of the Cowboy Kung-Fu Handbook

If you find yourself without adequate time to regain your feet and all other moves seem inappropriate for your situation, assume the fetal position and say the Lord’s Prayer…you’re gonna need both. (Note to student: This move is highly ineffective as an offensive maneuver.)


These words sprang out of me in a barely audible whisper. It sounded like an auctioneer recording being played back from between two mattresses. You could have put me in a desk drawer I was fetal-ed so tight. Every muscle in my body tensed while I awaited the run-away train to strike me.cow for cowboy church devotion

“Not so fast there sweetheart!” I heard the strain of rope and felt dirt thrown against my face as I peeked up from my defensive posture. At the very last possible moment, one of the men on horseback was able to get a loop around her head and stop her before she got to me. I watched as the two cowboys on horses drug my foe into a separate pen. I climbed to my feet and used my hat to dust myself off.

The other cowboys were now climbing back down from the closest fences. I looked around and all of them were grinnin’ at me. Before a single one them smart alecs could say anything, I spoke up. “Where’d all ya’ll sissies run off to?”

When you feel like your fixin’ to be run over.

In the Old Testament, there was a King from Assyria that was fixin’ to put a major wallop on the King of Israel. This Assyrian had mocked the Lord of Israel and said that he could defeat any people and any God. The prophet Isaiah told Israel’s king to trust in God and God would protect them. God sent the followin’ message to the King of Assyria.

2 Kings 19:27-28   27 “But I know you well—where you stay and when you come and go. I know the way you have raged against me. 28 And because of your raging against me and your arrogance, which I have heard for myself, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth. I will make you return by the same road on which you came.”

Israel was hunkered down in their own fetal position just expecting the worst. But in the end, God saved them from destruction. God does the same for us. He protects those who love Him and call out in His name. Shoot, sometimes he protects us even when we don’t see the danger comin’.

Whether you going through a rough time right now or feel like your fixin’ to get ran over, don’t abandon God and head for top of the fences. Just trust in Him and keep prayin’. He’s probably not goin’ to rope every problem that comes against you, but I know He’s not gonna let you get trampled to death either.

Have a great weekend!!

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  • Another great down to Earth message. Just out of curiosity, where can I get a copy of the Cowboy Kung-Fu Handbook?

  • Kevin

    One will be given to you when you get run over by a mad mama cow during brandin’ season. This is coincidentally when you achieve your “hay-string” belt.

  • Been hunkered down in the fetal position a few times myself. So glad the Lord kept me from getting stomped on. I never thought about prayer in terms of Kung Fu–it’s a good move.
    Have a great Lord’s Day. I’m preaching “How to Know that You Know God” from 1 John 5:1-5. And we are celebrating the Lord’s Supper. –Richard

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