There were eight wranglers assigned per two thousand head of cattle and we worked in six hour shifts of four guys. I say “guys” because my shift was four guys, but there were plenty of women working the pens and even one whole shift of ladies a few decks up. I write it now because I don’t want you thinking of me a macho or sexist, but it did just happen that deck eight, shift B, my shift, was four guys and, hell, there are some days I would have sure liked a smart woman in there to break up that pissing contest.

Eight wranglers per two thousand head of cattle, meant sixteen wranglers per deck, across twelve decks of one massive space freighter. Nearly fifty thousand space cows, tended by nearly two hundred cowboys (and girls) and another fifty flight crew. It stunk. It was noisy. And only a few of those passengers actually knew where we were going to begin with.