So yesterday I told you about trying to get all of our cows back from the neighbors. We had all the cows, including the surprise new calf, back at the farm. We had one steer that was channeling the spirit of the original Ninja Cow and was giving us a fit. We had my neighbor David and his four wheeler, along with Miguel, Spork, and myself on foot. We were in a 16 acre pasture with 6 acres of grass and the rest woods and wetland. Unlike being in my fields, I didn’t know every rock and bump so I was having to discover them on the run.
Since David was on the four wheeler, I told him to get the steer up to the upper part of the pasture. Also, since I could tell this steer was going to fight us, I told him to feel free to run him a few laps around the pasture and get him winded. Sometimes that’s all you can do. We tried walking to help but basically we watched this steer work David as much as he worked the steer. After multiple failed attempts and plenty of frustration, the steer was no closer to the corral. It was now almost 11 and I was supposed to have left for New Bern at 9:30. We made one last push and suddenly the steer finally went to the top of the pasture where the corral is. David followed on the four wheeler and we walked up to try and now get this crazy steer in the corral. It should be noted that the decision to take this steer to the auction had already been made. This type of behavior is simply not acceptable.
As we walked uphill we saw the steer was at the corner of the pasture, by the gate. As David got there with the four wheeler, the steer bashed into the gate rather than going the way we wanted him to (every single move he made was this way) and somehow he got the gate open and escaped. Good God, again?! Why can’t any of our animals every stay where we want them?
David took off on the four wheeler to turn the steer around while Spork and I took off running after him. I had little hope because at no point had this steer been able to be turned by the four wheel and this was in confinement. Now he was in the open, heading of course for Old Stage Road. While Spork and I were running, Miguel, who was smarter than both of us, passed us in the Suburban that we ran right by. I didn’t know the keys were in it. Oh well, I need to run anyway. Since my neighbor was waiting on me, I called him and told him where we were and to get over here NOW with a rifle. I couldn’t have this steer get into the road and hurt someone and I didn’t have much hope of turning him around. As we ran down the road, and into people’s yards, I was waiting on the rifle to show up and trying to figure out where I was going to be able to shoot this cow and it be safe. We were getting close to a neighborhood. Generally suburbanites react poorly when you murder something by their swing set in front of little Timmy. Finally the cow took a turn into a somewhat confined area behind a garden and we were able to get him turned around and heading back to the pasture. A few more minutes and he darted into another pasture and that was good enough for me. We shut the gate and left him to his own devices in this other pasture. Thursday his crazy butt will be getting on a trailer and heading to the sale barn. This reminds me of a quote about culling cows.
Love your children, forgive your enemies. Do neither for your cows.