April 4, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.

Fresh from the Farm: Open gate makes for headaches

By Shelley [email protected]

Anyone that has raised livestock dreads that call, "Your cow, horses, goats, etc... are out!"

When you see the neighbor's name come up on your caller ID you almost hate to answer, but you have to.

I received that dreaded call to let me know the cow, calf and horses were out. The cow I was not worried about because she comes to me just like a dog. When the horses get out, I can hear them laughing at me as they run full speed knowing that there is no possible way I can catch them. I always know I need to hurry before they get the urge to run. I had no idea what I was in for with the calf, but I had hopes that Cassie Cow would help me get him in.

Before I go any further let me tell you that Ayana always played with this calf. She played rough with this calf, something I told her not to do. But what do I know? I mean I only grew up with cattle and with the exception of a few years have had them my entire life. But as we all know, teenagers always know more than their parents. At the point of escape this bull calf weighed about 500 lbs.

I got home, and as luck would have it the horses were still in the yard. The gate was wide open, and I was able to grab them quickly and get them back into the pasture. The goats were having a good day and behaving. They were all still in the pasture. (Truthfully, they were probably afraid of the horses and afraid to come out.)

Cassie Cow was in the neighbor's pasture along with her calf. As I said I was not worried about Cassie. Holding true to form when called she came, just not with her calf. I attempted to get behind the calf and herd him. That didn't work. As I stood there in my too big rubber boots and my barn jacket that resembled something that had been through a shredder, I thought about what to do next. My first thought was, "Lord please don't let the neighbors drive by." My second thought was about how Ayana had played with this calf, and I decided that was the only way I was going to get him home.

Cassie Cow stood close by and watched. I walked right up to him and popped him on the head and ran. As I expected, he chased me. This took about 4 rounds of my popping him in the head and running from him to get him out of their pasture and onto the road. I continued to pray, "Lord please don't let the neighbors drive by."

After getting him to the road, I took Cassie to the corner and told her to "stay." (I said she was like a dog!) My hope was the calf would see her, and they would go out into the pasture through the gate I had opened. So I popped him on the head again and ran toward Cassie. Being the disobedient calf he was, he chased me right pass Cassie and into the yard.

Now being my age, and shall we say over conditioned, I had just about had it. I got Cassie into the yard, took her to the other gate, opened it and told her to stay. This time I chased the calf all over the yard! He was having a ball, and I was having a stroke. Around to the front yard he went and -- going a little slower than I started out -- I chased him.

By the time I got to the front yard I was considering calling 911 as I was sure I was going to die right there. Then I prayed, "Please Lord don't let me die dressed like this, and don't let the neighbors drive by."

I yelled something to the effect of making hamburger and how I was going to invite this calf to dinner. Cassie must have heard me because she came running. She poked her head around the corner and let out a war whoop in cow form. That calf stopped dead in his tracks, walked over to Cassie and they both ran to the gate and out into the pasture.

Thankfully the neighbors didn't drive by and witness this event. However, I have to wonder, if there is a conspiracy among my animals to see how far I will go? Do they enjoy watching me try to run? I know they laugh at me!

I realize that some of this story seems a little far-fetched. Just spend some time on my little farm, and you will probably wonder if this is all that actually happened.[[In-content Ad]]