Recollections of Cal Hayes submitted by Don Mickle
A Couple of Stories about Cal Hayes
“You will need a big blanket Bert”
Every year in early June we would round up our outfitting horses from the Ribbon Creek and Corners area across the Red Deer River and North of the Ya Ha Tinda Ranch. We brought horses down to our holding corral on the bank of the Red Deer River.
One day we brought in a strange older horse that we had no idea where it came from. It was a gnarly old horse and had several different brands on its hide. Dad (Bert Mickle) said, “We will trail it along and add it to our string.” We did figure out (when we tried to pack it) that it may have been from somebody’s bucking string.
Cal Hayes stopped in to visit us at our camp. He took a look at the old horse and said – “By golly Bert – you had better find a big blanket to cover up all those brands on that old nag!”
“Throw that boy in the truck and take him down to Sundre”
We were on the round up again. Ron Hall, Paul Peyto and I chased a bunch of horses down to our holding corral on the Red Deer River. There were a couple of Erling Strom’s horses with our string. We were just heading them into the corral when one of Strom’s old packhorses put its ears flat and backed up to kick. I couldn’t stop or turn my saddle horse in time and the old packhorse nailed my knee with both hooves. It lifted me off my saddle and I was rolling around the ground holding my knee while Paul and Ron finished corralling the horses.
Just then, Cal Hayes came driving in from the Ya Ha Tinda to see what we were up to.
He jumped out of the truck and said, “You boys got those ponies in the corral – good!” He pointed at me rolling around holding my knee and said, “That boy is hurt! Ron you grab him by the heels and Paul you grab him by the ears and put him in the truck and take him down to Sundre”.
It turned out to be a chip broken off of my knee – but not a broken leg!