You know the old saying: "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence."
Some of our cattle decided to test that theory this week. Randy was forced to complete a round-up on his own. I was at Wednesday night church activities and Jake was housebound while his daughter Emalee napped.
Randy thought he had the escapees corralled. But success was short-lived. He soon discovered them out again. A tree branch, loosened in the gale force winds, had smashed the fence, providing the escape route.
So we were all called into service yesterday morning to move the cattle.
It was not a good sign when the cattle took off running the minute we pulled in with pickup and trailer. However, they settled down, and the round-up went relatively well (hence the smile on Farmer Randy's face.)
In these situations, we are always looking for a leader. Usually, if one cow leads the way, the others will follow. The whole follow-the-leader thing can be detrimental when they take off for greener pastures, however. We humans just can't make up our minds, can we?
By the way, there really is something to the "greener pastures" proverb. In a 1983 scientific article, James Pomerantz proves "optical and perceptual laws alone will make the grass at a distance look greener to the human eye than the blades of grass perpendicular to the ground. The truth of this metaphorical proverb can, of course, also be observed often enough in the countryside when a cow or a horse is trying to get at that juicy green grass just on the other side of the fence."
So the poor cattle can't be blamed.
The cows don't care much about green pastures when they are separated from their babies. The only thing on their minds at that point is being reunited with their little ones.
The bawling and caterwauling commence.
"I know my baby disappeared through there," this poor mama seems to say. "Where did he go?"
But this separation didn't last long. They were soon reunited in a new corral.
We did have one mama that could qualify for the barnyard Olympics. She scaled fences. She high-jumped gates - all in an effort to find her baby.
Randy got the worst job of the day - preg-checking a few cows that hadn't calved. Yes, that is his plastic-gloved hand stuck ... uh, you know where.
It's not one of the more glamorous farmer jobs, is it?