Monday, January 27, 2014

Phone Home


"Phone home."

In the 1982 blockbuster, E.T., the extraterrestrial, tells 10-year-old  Elliott and his 5-year-old sister Gertie that he needs to "phone home." The request is prompted when E.T. reads a comic strip where a stranded Buck Rogers calls for help by building a makeshift communications device. E.T. and Elliott then use a Speak and Spell toy to build a device for E.T. to "phone home."

This year's calf crop on the County Line have their own version of "phone home." Our new eartags have Randy's cell phone number printed on the back.
I blanked out the last four digits.
If you raise cattle, you've likely gotten the same nighttime call we get from the sheriff's office on occasion.

"There are some cattle out on 4th Street," the caller says, usually after dark and usually after you're snuggled into warm jammies. "They have yellow ear tags in the left ear. Are they yours?"

I always hope for green ear tags. Or red ear tags. Or yellow tags in the right ear. Then, they wouldn't be ours. Now, if the caller can get close enough to the ear tags, we will know for sure whether they are escapees from our farm.

Or if we could teach them to dial their own number, kind of like drilling your prekindergarten student to make sure he/she knows full name, address and telephone number. (When your last name is Fritzemeier, it takes repeated efforts for this lesson.)

Better yet, why don't they just stay where they are supposed to be? But, if they do escape, wouldn't it be nice if  they were as easy to lure back home as E.T., who was tempted by a trail of Reese's Pieces?

If you watch the clip, please excuse one cuss word. Why do movie makers think that's necessary?


  1. That's a good idea! When we brand, we also cut a sliver off both ears. They have pointy ears. A real identifier for us.
    We lost 4 calves in the heifers so far. Most likely from the ice earlier in December. So sad.

    1. We also notch one ear. I'm sorry you've lost babies. We are still waiting for more to arrive. We figured we'd have more during this latest blast of winter temperatures, but, so far, they've held off, which is a good thing. Good luck with the rest of calving! We all need it.