Saturday, September 21, 2013

Never Let Down

Your guard. Received my stipend from the paper this week and opted to spend it on groceries. Thus, after the many storied joys of shopping, we started milking a bit late.

Well, more than a bit. We were a good hour plus late to let the ladies down in to eat and equally askew in the hour of putting them in the barn.

Just about dark.

Becky, who was letting them into the barn two or three at a time, so we can get the new little SWD Valiant* daughter safely into her new stall calls out to us.

"Cows are going up the hill." She hollers.

No big thing. Sometimes when they finish the feed they head back to pasture. They generally realize their mistake and come back down in a minute.

"Cows are going up the hill," she calls again.

Well, yes all right, we'll get them in a minute, just let us get the rest of them locked up in their stalls.

Then she barged into the barn in a grump and stomped off up the hill.

The other hill.

Some rotten little somebody had jumped on top of the gate that leads to the rest of the farm and bent it beyond redemption. A good third took advantage and ran off.

I won't bore you with the hour-and-a-half at least details of the chase. I stayed at the barn at the broken gate to keep the remainder of the ones who didn't get out and don't go in the barn confined. And to direct traffic when the runaways returned

Beck and the boss ranged over hill and dale, through head-high thistles and burs, in the dark, chasing the naughty beggars. 

It took a long, awful time. Eventually the escapees stampeded into the barnyard and stood, heads up, breath whistling, and obviously thinking, whoa, that was fun!

Tails full of burs are so nice at milking time. The better to beat you with, my pretty.

I felt so bad about being at the barn while they ran and tripped and stumbled and swore that I bought them sundaes for supper. Ice cream will cure a lot of ills and even if if it doesn't wipe off the bramble scratches, it does help you forget about them.

Worst of it was, as soon as those that were milked were turned back outside, they ran right up to the gate that they broke, ready to do it all again.

Joke's on them. The boss hung a monstrous feeder gate in its place. Awful heavy to open and close, but if they jump that we'll put them under saddle and take them to the Maryland Hunt Cup.  Won't we be famous then.

Chasing cows sure gets old fast.

*Have I mentioned finally having a daughter of the great old bull SWD Valiant? No? Guess I've been keeping quiet so as not to jinx her. I have waited over thirty years for this.


Rev. Paul said...

Never a dull moment with cows on a farm. I learned, early on, to treasure those moments when they're just grazing or chewing their cud. It's the only times that they're quiet. And even then, sometimes ...

Jeffro said...

I guess while you might have all the scenery, it is easier out here to chase cattle out in the open. Pickups, motorcycles, ATVs and horses are pretty easy to use. Although I did find out cycles kinda blew, since they don't have much of a reverse gear when your bunch gets hung up in a corner fence and want to double back.

Ontario Wanderer said...

Thanks for all the cow chasing memories!
Nowadays, it's just our donkey and two goats that run and they come back quickly at least 95% of the time.

Linda said...

I had to read this out loud to Terry...boy do we understand!!! AND THOSE GIRLS KNOW JUST WHAT THEY ARE DOING and just What they Do NOT want to do.


dairymilkmaid said...

Ooh, yes, Wayne and I had a really similar experience on Friday with heifers.

Dad used to simply smile and say: "But the humans always win in the end".

I hope that one day, I grow into his philosophical shoes.

threecollie said...

Rev. Paul, you never appreciate the quiet time enough, as you quickly learn when things get western. lol

Jeffro, that last presents quite a visual. Used to have horses and dogs, which often helped with the equation. Wish we'd had them this time!

OW, that is fortunate! These guys were having way too much fun to want to come back. We have one open heifer that is a ring leader in the escaping business. I think she will need to go to the sale.

Linda, they do. I felt so bad for Becky and Ralph,. They had a real hard time out there.

DMM, I told the family about your adventures with the young entry and we felt relatively lucky. At least we didn't have a poisonous snake in the mixture! That must have been scary!

Cathy said...

Lot of great lines here - and an over-due congratulations . . but this cracked me up:
"Tails full of burs are so nice at milking time. The better to beat you with, my pretty. "