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Texas Cattle drive

copyright © 2023 by israa musabeh

Saddle up, partners, and let's hit the trail.

Well now, partner, you find yourself a-straddlin' the back of a sturdy mustang on the Texas cattle trail, 1870 it is. Y'might as well cinch up tight, 'cause we got ourselves a long haul ahead. From the homestead to the railhead, reckon it'll take a good two months of dust, sweat, and saddle sores. Mind you, ain't no two drives cut from the same cloth. Every choice you make, reckon it's got its own brand of consequences, be they fair or foul. So hold steady, and let's see where the wind'll carry us!

your mission

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Well, reckon it's the Shawnee Trail for us, partner. Some folks call it the Texas Road. We'll be headin' up to St. Louis, takin' the path that's tried and true. It's a long ride ahead, but that trail's seen many a cowboy through. So, saddle up and let's hit that Shawnee Trail, aimin' for St. Louis.

Well now, reckon it might be worth a shot takin' the Western Trail. It's a bit less crowded, and might just get us to Dodge City, Kansas quicker. Can't hurt to give it a whirl, see if we can save some time on this drive. So, what d'ya say, partner? Let's head down that Western Trail and make tracks for Dodge City.

Well, looks like we'll be ridin' the tried-and-true Chisholm Trail up to Abilene, Kansas. It's a path many a cowboy's hoofed before, and it's got a reputation for gettin' the job done. So, cinch up tight and let's follow that Chisholm Trail, headin' for Abilene.

Well now, reckon we oughta ponder which trail to blaze. Got ourselves a choice, and it ain't one to be taken lightly. Which path we choose'll shape the course of this drive. So, partner, what say you? Which cattle trail we gonna ride?

Which trail should we take?

Try the Western Trail, a less crowded, potentially quicker route to Dodge City, Kansas.

Take the Shawnee Trail (also known as the Texas Road) to St. Louis

Take the well-known Chisolm Trail to Abilene, Kansas.

At what hour should we aim to kick off this cattle drive, partner? What say you?

Alright, rise and shine, partners! We're kickin' off this cattle drive at the crack of dawn. Early start means we'll make the most of the day's light. The herd's rested, and we're rarin' to go. So, saddle up and let's hit that trail with the sun at our backs.

Well now, reckon it might be wise to start this drive a bit later in the day. Give both the herd and us a chance for a good, long rest, and let them cattle graze a mite longer. It'll do 'em good, and we'll hit the trail refreshed and ready. So, let's take our time and set out when the sun's a touch lower, shall we?

Well now, reckon it's time to get this drive rollin'. We'll kick things off come sundown, when the heat starts to ease up. It's a smart move, partner. Cooler temperatures mean less strain on the cattle and us. We'll ride steady through the night, makin' good time on the trail. So, saddle up and let's hit it when that sun starts to dip.

What time should we leave?

Start the drive later in the day to allow for a longer rest and let the cattle graze longer.

Begin the drive at sundown, taking advantage of cooler temperatures.

Begin the cattle drive early in the morning.

Hold steady, folks! We've got rattlesnakes stirrin' up trouble on our path, and it's got the herd spooked and stampedin'. Now, in times like these, you've got to act fast and keep a level head. That's the way of the trail, partner.

Well now, looks like we're in a bind, partner. Them nearby riders might just be our ticket out of this mess. I'll give 'em a holler, see if they're willin' to lend a hand. We don't know 'em from Adam, but sometimes in these parts, a stranger can be a godsend. Let's hope they're willin' to ride in and help us out.

Hold on tight, folks! We've got ourselves a stampede on our hands. Now, it's a risky move, but someone's gotta try to calm them cattle down and wrestle back control. It's gonna be a wild ride, no doubt, and there's a chance for injury. But we can't let this herd run wild. So, with grit and nerve, I'm takin' the lead. Let's see if we can't rein 'em in and get 'em settled.

Hold steady, partner! We got ourselves a mess of snakes in the way. Ain't no good for the herd, that's for sure. Best thing we can do is take charge and lead 'em on a detour, steer clear of them slitherin' critters. Gotta be firm but steady, keep the cattle in line. We'll find us a safer path and keep this drive rollin'.

Rattlesnakes on the path have spooked the herd. They start to stampede. How do you handle the sudden stampede?

Risk injury and attempt to calm the cattle and regain control.

Lead the cattle in a detour away from the stampeding source.

Signal for help from nearby riders we don’t know.

Well, partner, looks like we're facin' a mighty river. Instead of takin' unnecessary risks, reckon we might just have to find ourselves a longer, but safer, route through farmer territory. It might mean more time on the trail, but it beats tanglin' with that ragin' river. Let's steer clear of trouble and take the scenic route, shall we?

Hunker down and wait for a guide who knows these parts like the back of their hand. Once they're here, they'll lead us through safe and sure. No need to rush when we've got experienced eyes to steer us right. So, we'll bide our time and let the guide take the reins when they arrive.

Reckon it's time to put our heads together and see if we can fashion up a makeshift bridge or ford. It'll take some know-how and elbow grease, but if we're careful and take it slow, we just might get ourselves and them cattle across without too much trouble. Let's roll up them sleeves and get to work, partner. Time's a-wastin'.

Well, looky there, partner. We've hit us a good ol' raging river. Now, we gotta figure out how to get ourselves and them cattle across safe and sound. It's gonna take some grit and know-how, but we'll get it done, you mark my words. So, what's your thinkin', partner? How do we tackle this river?

You come across a raging river. How do you navigate the dangerous terrain?

Attempt to build a makeshift bridge or ford the river cautiously.

Wait for a guide familiar with the terrain to arrive and lead the way.

Find a longer but safer route around the river through farmer territory.

We'll ride in slow and easy, take the scenic route, hats in hand, keepin' our distance respectful-like. Let 'em know we're just passin' through, aimin' to keep the peace on this dusty trail. Shall we?

Well now, partner, it's a hard choice, but if it comes down to it, we might find ourselves in a scrape with them Natives. It ain't the path I'd choose first, but we Gotta keep our wits about us and aim to protect our herd and crew.

Well, reckon when we come upon them Native Americans in their own territory, we best show manners and caution. Think it'd be wise to shell out 10 cents per head of cattle to them Native Americans, ensuring a peaceful passage through their land? What's your reckonin', partner?

We made good headway, but I reckon we're feelin' a mite tired now, ain't we? Find ourselves in Indian Territory, do we? How d'ya reckon we oughta go 'bout approachin' them folks?

You made good progress, but are tired later in the day. You are in Indian Territory and encounter a group of Native Americans. How do you approach them?

Pay 10 cents per head of cattle to cross peacefully

Try to find an alternative route.

Engage in conflict with the Natives.

Alright, listen up, folks. We ain't stoppin' for no camp tonight. We'll keep our heads down, and push on through this dark and storm. No use wastin' time when there's ground to cover. Just keep 'em movin', steady and sure, and we'll make up for lost time before dawn breaks.

Should we set up a sizable campfire for warmth and defense, even if it might draw critters and potential trouble, partner? Keep our eyes peeled and our rifles close. Ain't no tellin' what might be out there. Gotta be ready for anything, partner.

We'll pitch our tents tight and low, to keep 'em from catchin' too much wind. Then, we'll circle our wagons for added protection, just in case we've got some unwelcome company.

We're well-rested, but it looks like we lost some precious time. Are we fixin' to travel in the dark to catch up, partner? Well, partner, with a storm brewin' and the unknown lurkin' 'round, it's high time to hunker down and set up camp.

You are well-rested but lost time and have to travel in the dark. A storm is coming. You also don’t know who or what is around you. How do you set up camp?

Keep the campfire small to avoid attention. Rely on experience to wait out the storm and face potential delays.

Set up a large campfire for warmth and protection, but this may attract wildlife and potential threats.

Stay low-key and do not set up camp. Keep pushing through in the dark and storm to make up time.

Well, partner, if it comes to it, we might just have to face them armed farmers head on. Ain't somethin' I'd choose lightly, but if push comes to shove, we'll stand our ground and defend what's rightfully ours. Keep our wits about us and make sure our aim is true. It's a tough call, but sometimes a man's gotta protect what's his.

We best tread careful, talkin' reasonable-like, try to find common ground. Show 'em we ain't aimin' to bring harm, just passin' through with our herd. Maybe find a way to ease their fears or strike a deal, reckon that's our best shot at clearin' this trail. but if push comes to shove and there's no other way, we'll stand our ground and defend what's rightfully ours.

Well now, reckon it's best we aim to steer clear of any unnecessary trouble. Let's keep our heads low and our voices steady, try to avoid any confrontation. Even if it means takin' a roundabout detour in the dead of night, so be it. Ain't no use invitin' more strife than we need. We'll find our way 'round and keep this drive rollin' along.

Well, now, seems we got ourselves a heap of trouble. Them local farmers, spooked by Texas cattle fever and ticks, are fixin' to block our path. They've gone and hired vigilantes and them city slicker mobsters to stand in our way. What's the play, then? How do we aim to handle this standoff, partner?

Local hostile farmers block your passage due to fears of Texas cattle fever and ticks. They hire vigilantes and mobsters to block cowboys. How do you approach them?

Engage in conflict with the armed farmers.

Escalate the situation. Encourage your crew to stand their ground.

Minimize confrontation but face a night-time roundabout detour.

Listen up, folks. It's time to square our shoulders and hold our ground. We ain't lookin' for trouble, but if it comes knockin', we won't back down. Stand firm and steady, keep your wits about ya. We're in this together, and we'll face whatever comes our way. So, saddle up and be ready to stand tall, no matter what.

Well now, reckon it's best we sidestep any ruckus. Let's aim to find us another water source, one that ain't gonna stir up no trouble. No sense in invitin' more strife than we need. We'll keep our eyes peeled and ears open, and hopefully, nature will provide us a clear path.

Well, reckon it's high time we try to strike a fair deal, partner. Let's aim to negotiate a water-sharin' agreement. We'll talk straight and honest, lay out our needs clear as day, and see if we can find some common ground. No need for trouble when a civil word might just do the trick.

Well now, we've done well guidin' that herd, but time and funds ain't on our side, it seems. Now, here we stand, facin' off with a rival drive for that precious water. What's the play, then? How do we aim to handle this standoff, partner?

You successfully manage the herd, but face time and budget constraints. Now you confront a rival cattle drive for a water source. What should you do?

Encourage your crew to stand their ground.

Avoid any conflicts and find an alternative water source

Try to negotiate a water-sharing agreement.

Alright, folks, it's time to put some fire under them hooves. We're gonna push them cattle hard, make up for lost ground. No lollygaggin' or dilly-dallyin', we're gonna ride 'em fast and steady. Keep 'em movin' 'til the sun sets and then some. We'll make up that lost time, you mark my words.

We're gonna need some more boots in the dirt, partners. Time to bring on extra hands to help us round up and manage this herd. Can't do it alone, and it's worth the coin to make sure we get them critters where they need to be. So, let's rustle up some good hands and get this job done right.

Alright, partners, we're gonna take this at a steady pace. No need to rush, we'll make sure them critters stay healthy and strong. Gotta rely on the team we got, work together and save where we can. It's the smart way to ride, keepin' our herd in good shape and our pockets in check. Let's keep 'em steady, and we'll get where we're goin'.

Well, partner, after them wild threats and tussle, we're short on hands and our herd's half-scattered like tumbleweeds in a dust storm. We've lost precious time roundin' 'em up. Now, the question is: how do we make up for that lost time and keep this herd in line? What's the plan, then, to get 'em back on track and movin' forward?

After the wild threats and struggle, you lost some of your crew. Half of your herd scattered. You lost a lot of time rounding up most of them. How do you make up the lost time and manage the herd?

Push the cattle hard to make up time.

Hire extra hands to help round up and manage the herd.

Take it slow to ensure the herd stays healthy. Rely on your current team to save money.

We'll have to chance it, 'cause we can't afford to linger too long. Rain or no rain, we need to regroup and move on. We’ll steer clear of any showdowns and make camp close by the river for easy water access. Even if it means takin' a chance with potential floods?

Well now, it's high time we made a detour to that nearby town. We're in need of supplies and some more hands on deck. Gotta make sure we're well-prepared for the trail ahead. So, let's head on over and see if we can't round up some fresh faces and stock up on what we're lackin'. Time's a-wastin', and we ain't got a moment to lose.

Best find a spot that offers some shelter, partner. Look for a grove of trees or some high ground. Gotta keep an eye out for flash floods, mind you. We've got a solid team with us, reckon we can save a bit by stickin' together.

Well now, reckon we're in a tight spot. Lost supplies, hands, and some good head of cattle. Needin' to catch our breath and restock, it's time to set up camp. Trouble is, them rain clouds are gatherin' again, and we're still squatting on land them farmers don't take kindly to.

You have lost supplies, crew, and cattle. Needing to rest and gather supplies, you set up camp. It’s about to rain again and you are still on forbidden farmer land. Where do you camp?

Avoid any conflicts and camp near the river to have easy access to water, but risk potential flooding.

Take a detour to a closeby town with supplies and hire more crew.

Camp on higher ground for safety from floods and robbers. Rely on your current team to save money.

Well now, would ya look at that! We've made it to the railhead with fewer run-ins and right on schedule. Got darn near the same herd and crew we started out with. And reckon what, partner? We're leavin' this railhead with jinglin' pockets. Turned a tidy profit, we did! Seems like lady luck's ridin' with us this time. Off we go, head held high, with a little extra jingle in our step.

Well done!

Top-Notch Outcome


Well, I'll be hornswoggled. Here I am, finally moseyin' into that railhead, and what do I find? A smaller herd than when we set out, and we're late to the party. Reckon that don't bode well for the price we'll fetch. Sold what we had, but it's a thin wallet I'm sportin' now. Barely got enough to settle up with the crew. Two months of blood, sweat, and tears, and I'm right back where I started, nothin' to show for it but a whole lot of dust in my boots. Just breakin' even, seems like.


Try again.

Middlin' Outcome

Well, doggone it all, in my haste, I plumb forgot to keep an eye on the weather and my poor herd. We made it to that railhead quick as a jackrabbit, but look at 'em now - sickly and worn out. Won't fetch much in the market, that's for sure. After two long months of hard toil, here I am, with empty pockets and a crew that's more riled up than a hornet's nest. Can't even muster the coin to get us all back home. Reckon I've got myself in a real fix this time.


Oh no!



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Decision making framework

You arrive at the railhead with much less cattle than you started out with, and you are later than the other cattle drives. Your cattle are worth less. Even after selling them, you are running low on money and can only pay your crew. After two months of hard work, you break even!

Rushing, you neglected to pay attention to the weather and your herd. You arrive at the railhead quickly but with sick, tired cattle. They are unable to be sold for much. After two months of work, you do not have enough money to pay what’s left of your angry crew or get back home.

You are a cowboy on the Texas cattle run. It is the year 1870. You must cover long distances to drive your cattle across the frontier. You will start at your home ranch and continue about two months to reach the railhead. Make your choices carefully! No two cattle drives are the same. As you make decisions, accept the consequences, good or bad. See where you wind up!

Reach the railhead with fewer encounters but on time. You have almost all the cattle and crew you started out with. You leave the railhead having made a profit!