The Art of the Ask

The Art of the Ask

Tyson figured that the time had come. Although they had dated on and off for over a year, they had never felt closer to each other. He had met with Cheri’s dad and had received permission to take his daughter in marriage – but only after a penetrating question and answer session which included a stern message from a caring father – “do not break my daughter’s heart. If you intend to marry her make sure you are committed, this is not a casual decision.” He was. And so he proceeded. Buying the perfect engagement ring was the easy part …


Tyson had long remembered the legend of Johnny Lingo and his 8 cow wife – Sarita. It was an island story about a custom whereby fathers were given cows as a dowry for their daughter’s hand in marriage. The more dynamic and beautiful the daughter, the more cows were presented for the dowry. That was why Sarita’s father was embarrassed – surely his daughter would be luck to bring a cow at best! She was homely looking and walked hunched over – seeking to avoid anyone’s gaze.

But then came Johnny Lingo. He was one of the shrewdest bargainers on the island. His reputation preceded him wherever he went – he never paid full price for anything, yet he was an honest and straightforward man. Rumor traveled fast on the little island, Johnny was going to ask for Sarita’s hand in marriage – surely a cow would be the most he would eve pay!

The day arrived for the bargaining – with Sarita’s father hoping that he would not become the laughing stock of the island for he knew about Johnny’s reputation and he could see that his daughter would not bring much by way of a dowry. Johnny began by indicating his desire to marry Sarita. Her father asked what he was willing to pay for such an arrangement. The offer from Johnny was 8 cows. 8 cows! No one on the island had ever received near than many cows in a marriage arrangement! 8 cows.

The local villagers heard about the offer and quickly surmised that it was a crude joke from Johnny – that surely he would not follow through with his offer. But he did. Sarita? She blossomed as a rose under the love and care of this wonderful husband. Everywhere she traveled people whispered, “there she is, she brought 8 cows, she is the wife of Johnny Lingo!”


So Tyson’s plan? He decided to ask Cheri to marry him on a vacation that was planned with Tyson’s family to their cabin in Island Park, Idaho. Across from the cabin where they would be staying there was a 1,000 acre ranch that was home to 100’s of head of cows that dude ranchers allowed “outsiders” to help herd.  There he would ask for her hand in marriage.

About 10 minutes into the cattle drive there was a beautiful setting with a stream of clear blue water running under a bridge and an old log beside the trail. That was the place! Tyson’s brother quietly secluded himself with camera in hand in the thicket of trees beside the old log and waited. And waited. And waited. Then, he could hear the cattle and saw the dust on the trail just ahead. So he ran behind the trees and carefully unfolded a large 4’ high by 12’ long canvas sign that had been carefully prepared in advance and hurried back to his post. Tyson and Cheri came into view and as planned Tyson got off his horse and helped Cheri down as well. He asked Cheri to sit with him on the log and then, dropped to one knee and asked Cheri if she would marry him! She covered her mouth in surprise as Tyson presented her with the ring and as Taylor jumped out from the trees to take the picture that would capture the moment for all time. It was only then as she stammered “yes” that they turned to see the sign in full view that read “10 COW WIFE”!



From time to time we publish engagement and/or marriage stories from our friends and acquaintances that highlight a particular or unique message that we can share with a larger audience. So whether it is how you bought your men’s wedding band, your fiancé’s engagement ring, or how you asked for her hand in marriage, we’d love to hear from you!

Please submit your stories to Tayloright LLC (dba 1634 E Sandhill Drive, Washington, UT 84780 or email us at