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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tuesday Spotlight: Melanie Thompson

            Living with a cowboy

            When you have cattle to take care of, you check them every day. We have twenty head of mama cows and a bull. The bull is in with the herd all the time so calves get born all year long.
            One day we were checking the herd. A big black-angus-longhorn-cross cow had just had a calf. Now this cow has had many calves; it wasn't like this was her first one. Well, she lost it. We went out to check fences and found mama cow wandering around bellowing. She was clearly confused and had plainly put her calf somewhere safe. The question in her mind and now ours was . . . where??
            So, being the helpful cow owners we are and also afraid something bad had happened to this new addition to our herd, we went hunting for the calf.
            Now a two-day old calf can be very hard to spot, especially, if it's sound asleep, rolled into a tight ball in high grass. Very soon, we were in the same boat as the cow, wandering around eighty acres looking for a very small calf. The only difference is we weren't bellowing.
            After a good fifteen minutes, the man of the house, being the experienced cowman that he is, spotted the calf between two dog apple shrubs. All you could see were her little black ears (she's a heifer).
            Once we spotted her, we had to unite mama and offspring. This should have been easy, because mama, being the stupid but smart cow she was, realized we were looking for her calf and followed the truck. But even though we were within twenty feet of the calf, the poor animal couldn't see her baby and continued to bellow miserably.
            The man of the house had to get out of the truck and wake baby up. Once the calf was on its feet, her mama spotted her. After the tender reunion, the cow decided we were the enemy, a clear danger to her precious child, and it was time to beat a hasty retreat. Mama has thirty-six inches of horns.
            The next day when we went to check cows and fences, mama was standing guard over baby. We fed the other cows and she did not budge from her self-imposed guard duty. This was one stupid, but smart cow that had learned from her bad experience.
            There are many things you should not do when you live on a farm and work around large animals. Here’s a short list of the most important.
       1.  Do not drive too close to a manure spreader.
       2.  Don't drive off after disconnecting your gooseneck without dropping your tail gate
       3. Never leave a gate open.
       4.  Don't show up to drive cattle without the horse.
       5.  When you drain the water trough don't forget to save the gold fish.
       6.  If you're going to work cows at 5 a.m., don't forget to shut up the horse the night before so you can find him in the dark.
       7.  Make sure you brake for deer, cows, dogs, opossums, raccoons, beaver, squirrels, the neighbors and do not run over a skunk.
       8.  Don't walk all the way out to the barn and then forget why you went.
       9.  Don't drink and operate a tractor, combine, hay baler, loader or any other piece of farm equipment
       10. Don't drink and ride your horse.

1 comment:

booklover0226 said...

This story brought back a lot of childhood memories. I was raised on a diary farm!

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com