Tuesday, May 4, 2010
The Rest of the Story
The cattle were lowing (Everyone hum Away in a Manger here.) The river-fed pastures were tranquil and filled with the beauty of spring.
After reading my post yesterday, you were probably left with the impression that the cattle drive on the County Line was idyllic.
And today, you'll get the rest of the story. While the three days of sorting and moving cattle were fairly uneventful, there were a few moments to remember for all the wrong reasons.
One of those is pictured above. I can handle a little cattle excrement on my jeans. I'm even OK with a little on my shirt.
But I draw the line at my face. As you can deduce from the sunglasses, I got baptized during our adventures on Saturday. The only good news is that my sunglasses kept it off my regular glasses. But it didn't protect my forehead or hair.
Ah, the aroma of fresh poo splattered in your face by an errant tail or hoof. Yuck!
I bravely hung in there on the trip to the pasture, cleaning up the mess as best I could with Kleenex. But then I asked the boss if I could take a side trip up to the house before we loaded the next group.
A little soap and water did wonders (and it put this helper in a much more cooperative mood again).
Yes, I'm a mom. Yes, I've cleaned up plenty of dirty diapers. But these are not my babies, no matter how cute some of them are.
That was not my only encounter with the business end of the cow. Later in the day, I decided to get some photos of a wheat field (I'll give you that update tomorrow.) And of all the places where I should kneel down to get a close-up view of the wheat, I pick a cowpie, left courtesy of a cow who had escaped to greener fields earlier in the week.
I was out for my walk, so I'd switched into gray sweatpants. And, no, they will never be the same. I'm still soaking them. Think grass stains X about 100 after the green stuff has gone through the cow. And could I notice before kneeling down? Of course not!
Those were not the only pungent smells of the week. The first day, we were sorting baby calves and kept smelling a lovely fragrance. Look closely at the babies' feet.
Can't quite get the picture? Maybe this will help. Sorry to those of you with weak stomachs, but a skunk had curled up and died in the cattle lot. (Everyone can hum Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road here.)
As the babies trampled it, it continued to emit an even stronger fragrance. The culprit was soon hauled away, leaving only the lingering, pungent odor.
All in all, we had a fairly uneventful three days. But our final job of the three-day excursion ended up being a lot more complicated than we'd thought.
We had two older moms and babies that we were hauling to the Peace Creek pasture. We had sorted them out and left them for the very last job on Saturday.
It was supposed to be an easy job. Randy had told Jake to clean out his trailer and unhook it. We could handle getting a couple of pair in by ourselves.
Famous last words ... As Randy was backing the trailer up to the barn, I went around and discovered that we had an escapee. One of the moms was in the wheat field.
She did NOT want to cooperate and go back to where she belonged. Randy was driving around like a madman on the four-wheeler, and I was doing my "Hey, Hey, Hey!" complete with hand signals. We finally got her back in.
Or so we thought. Out she jumped again.
And, when looked back at the other three, they were nowhere to be found. With all our attention focused on the escapee, three more had jumped a fence in the opposite direction. It was another mini-rodeo as we got them back to where they needed to go.
The mom in the wheat field at least knew which gate to go through this time. And since her baby was hanging out in a smaller corral, she went willingly.
The job that was supposed to take 10 minutes probably lasted 40.
But, all's well that ends well. We got them loaded. We took them to the pasture. And hopefully, they are content in their new home.
(Who am I kidding? We won't make it through the summer without at least one phone call where a few adventurers leave the confines of their summer homes).
But until then. The End.