Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Barreling


Toward the solstice and welcome. If there is any solace in getting older and having the time fly by so fast, it's that the shortening of the days is going by pretty quickly. 

We go to work in the dark at both ends of the day and slog through the mud....I feel guilty having all this unneeded rain while others are so dry. There is no way to share it, but I would if I could.

Mom was worried when I didn't post yesterday. Sorry, getting the Farm Side written early to clear the decks for a busy week. And I was tired. Saturday night took it out of me.

It all started when the fire went out. The wood is too big for me to lift so the boss has been tending it. He asked me to try and get it going again so I was doing that out in the evening dark. Becky was feeding calves. We were the only three here.

I heard him out on the hill in the dark driving cows off the feed wagon. Then he went back out. I didn't think much of it, as Bailey had a new heifer calf out there and I thought he was bringing them down.

But then he didn't come back. I trekked to the cow barn a couple times getting old pallet staves for kindling and asked Becky if she saw him come down.

Nope.

Got the fire going good and decided to go out and help him with Bailey.

The mud is SOOOOOOO deep! It's one step at a time, then drag your boot out of the stuff....it's reluctant to let you go and slurps over every mouthful of delicious barn boot. A few yards will leave you gasping and groaning and there are a lot more than a few yards out there.

I was pooped by the time I got to Bailey, who was half way back on the hill, ringing around in a circle with her calf, all fired up and loaded for bear. It is not good to mess with a mama cow in that mood, especially if you are neither a sprinter nor on good ground.

I gave her plenty of room and looked around for the boss for a while.

Not a sign, but even a big flashlight doesn't do much in fifteen acres of rainy, night-dark gloom. And of course he didn't have one with him even though there are four great big ones and several pocket models on the kitchen counter. I figured maybe I missed him and started the trip back down, only to meet Becky coming up. She hadn't seen him either.

I sent her to check the house and barn again and called the house myself. No answer, no sign of him.

I was really getting worried. Visions of Bailey stomping him and leaving him out there somewhere in the dark and mud skittered around in my head. She was sure riled up about something and she is a great big old cow. I had grim thoughts of calling 911 and getting people with better equipment out there to help us find him. We decided to make a circle around the field together one more time before doing just that.

And then we heard him hollering from way over on the home farm.

When the tale was told we discovered that he had seen the wild heifer, Madison, take off over the back hill outside the pasture and head for the sixty acre lot.....which is way on the back of the farm. Then he heard 4-wheelers start up, saw spot lights, and heard shots. 

So of course he crawled under the pasture fence at the top of the hill and took off running for the back of the farm. And walked ALL the fields looking for them. We have 300 and some acres. It is something like a mile front to back. He covered it all in a ridiculously short amount of time.

Didn't catch them though. He could barely walk the next day. Madison is fine btw. Still hanging around just outside the barnyard but fine. We all went out and got Bailey and the calf the next morning, in daylight, with lots of help....nice heifer by Calbrett HH Champion.

I have GOT to get that man a cell phone.

And get him to carry it.


And charge it.

And not lose it.

I really do.

12 comments:

NumberWise said...

That's a really scary story! It would have been bad enough in daylight...or without an agitated mama cow...or without spotlights and gunshots. But with all of those elements, plus the mud, I can understand why it's taking a while to recover.

Getting the cell phone is easy. All the rest is likely iffy!

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

I too was worried yesterday when you didn't post :(

My heart was beating way too hard reading this. Good story, but so maddening. Glad everyone and the cows are ok.

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
joated said...

Good to hear everyone is safe and sound.

Woodswalker said...

Whew! You sure had me on the edge of my seat. I can only imagine your fear, although your writing makes the scene very vivid. Good luck with the cell phone project. If he won't consent for his own sake, remind him that stress is not good for YOUR health.

Rev. Paul said...

I'm glad the boss was okay. Good luck with the charge/carry/use a cell phone gig.

Your day's a bit longer than mine (10:04 sunrise, 3:41 sunset today) but still too short. And all that mud isn't helping.

Terry and Linda said...

A phone would have really helped! But Terry is just like that. He has a phone, but he puts it in the truck and never turns it on. Makes me so upset when I REALLLY REA:L:::Y need to get hold of him and the only way is by foot.

Your 300 acres are not flat either, they are up the hill and down the vale every which way.

Linda
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Cathy said...

Big sigh of relief here. I admit I was speed reading to make suer the boss was upright.

Dark and rain. Yeah. Nice combination.

Jan said...

I kept wondering why he didn't pull out his cell phone and call you.

Oh, I get it. We have one of those in our family too.

threecollie said...

NW, I don't usually worry too much about him, but the cow had me real nervous

Nita, sorry about that. EVerybody is so busy these days

Joated, thanks I don't usually worry about him too much. he can take care of himself pretty much, but this time I did

WW, I am thinking about getting him a free refurbished Straittalk phone and making him pay the plan. lol

Rev. Paul, I know, I know, I wouldn't do too well up there.

Linda, we have been talking about getting him one and it really is time I think

Cathy, I was very worried and in what-to-do-next mode. A mad mama cow is nothing to fool around with and he is too old to be running around in the dark like that.

Linda, I am going to have to break down and actually get him one I guess. He tends to lose and forget stuff but he needs one.

WeldrBrat said...

We just had a recent situation up here in McMinn County. Thank God for Tattooing. And keeping great records doesn't hurt. A lady had the smarts to check around for upcoming cattle auctions, handed over all her identification records for each cow missing. By the time the guy was called to 'come pick up his check' down at an auction house in Georgia... local law enforcement and the FBI were there to meet him. The rustling is picking up steam. They're doing it in small quantities. They're luring the cows to feeder bunkers.We have a small place. But we've started hanging loose links of chains on our gates and barn doors. And those Hunting cameras for larger areas is worth an investment.

threecollie said...

WEldrbrat, that is really worrisome! We get a little rustling here too, but generally the perpetrators are caught real quickly. Only a couple of auction barns in the region and everybody knows everybody. i like the game cam idea!