Joe Butler was a wildlife biologist who worked for the tribe. He was from back east somewhere. Joe was a bearded bachelor who lived at the end of Gunzler lane, where he built a unique house. The only side of his house that wasn’t buried within a range-land hill was the east side. Plate glass windows, shaded by a gable, looked out upon the sun rising behind the Mission Mountains every morning. The dry range grasses and sage flowed over the roof, and lapped up to the bottom of the windows. The only other feature of his property was a huge telescope. It was larger around than a barrel and longer than a car.
My Aunt Missy had five Saler bulls, each weighing about a ton. She kept them on tribal lease land on Lower Crow Creek, just below Joe’s house. Missy got a call one day:
“Do you own an L hanging B brand?” said Joe.
“Yes,” said Missy.
“Do you have five big red bulls?” asked Joe.
“Ummm, yes, why?” said Missy.
“Could you come over, they are in my yard . . . and . . . just come over.” Joe said.
When Missy got there three red behemoths were grazing on top of the house. A large bull named Tubs was itching himself on the telescope. Jazz-Man was laying in Joe’s living room, contentedly chewing his cud. He had seen his reflection in the plate glass window and butted heads with his challenger.
The bulls were rounded up and moved. Fences were fixed. The checkbook came out.
“Let me know if the roof starts to leak, I know it wasn’t designed to hold the weight of those three jokers,” said Missy.
“I will. I also need to inspect my telescope to make sure they didn’t do any damage. I didn’t see any obvious damage except for one broken handle, which is easy to replace. On the next clear night I’ll go through and readjust the mirrors. You should come help, it’s a two person job,” said Joe.
“Sure. I’m happy to, and again, I’m so sorry,” said Missy.
A few days later Missy got to see the rings of Saturn.