“Ring, ring ring…”Hello?
“Hey, it’s Skippy (yep, that’s his real name) over here at the golf course. Your cows are out and roaming around the golf course.”
I was sitting in my shop, talking to my neighbor Dustin. We were remarking, just at that very moment, about how nice of a day it was. 6:30pm, a pleasantly milder day with low humidity, and I’d progressed from doing the things I desperately needed to do to doing something I actually wanted to do. Not the things I should do, I wasn’t that caught up. But those things could wait till tomorrow. It was a good day. But of course, that is when the phone rang.
I mentioned in my previous post that my neighbors cows had gotten out. Just an off hand comment and one I didn’t elaborate on in the 1000 word drivel I’d already burdened you with. But I can’t let that story go untold.
When your farm is already named after a cow that escaped and lived on the lam for two months, you take a call about your cows being out seriously. Since I was already at the barn, I walked outside and looked across the fields.
There, as majestic and serene as you could hope for, grazed my cows in the late afternoon sun right where they were supposed to be.
I called the golf course back.
“Hey, it’s Dan with Ninja Cow Farm. I’m looking at my cows in my pasture. Are you sure there are cows out?”
“Well there are cows standing outside your fence trying to get in. And three just took off down #1 running down the fairway.”
“Yeah, but I see my cows. They are in my pasture. Are you sure they are mine?”
“Of course they are yours. They are black.”
Sigh. Thats just racist. Cowist? I don’t know. It showed a lack of understanding.
I grabbed Dustin to get on the Gator and go get the mystery cows, with a theory as to who they belonged to. Then I remembered that the Gator was still chained down on a trailer because I hadn’t unloaded it yet. Unloading the Gator was on the list of things I should have done but not on the list of things I had to do so there it sat. Not to worry, my Jeep was sitting right there. It is just a Gator with a license plate.
So we drove around the farm and over to the golf course. When we arrived, we saw a group of 10 cows who were happily munching on grass on the forbidden side of my fence. They were calm, in a group, not causing trouble, and most importantly, not mine! Thank God!
I called my neighbor Percy, because he has cows. You may remember Percy, he’s the neighbor where the Ninja Cow spent her final moments. Percy said he’d be over in a few minutes so Dustin and I sat in the Jeep, enjoying the cool air, the setting sun, and watching not-my-cows to make sure they didn’t get into mischief, which of course they decided to do.
Cows, when they graze, are constantly moving forward looking for that next bite of grass. While we were waiting for Percy, the cows were making their way down the fence line. I didn’t want them to make it to the end of the fence because that would put them into an area of the golf course where I didn’t want to drive the Jeep, and where they may disappear into the woods. How to stop them?
My cows, being the good and well behaved cows that they are, decided to come and assist. When they noticed fellow cows outside the fence, they were SUPER interested. Think kids on the last day of school before summer as the bell rings. There was much running and frolicking as they made friends. This lasted for a few minutes, but then the truly free range interlopers started grazing again and headed toward the corner, and end of the fence line, and trouble.
I surmised that if we could get the cows turned around, maybe we could open the new gate we’d installed for exactly this purpose and they might just walk into our pasture. It was worth a try. I pulled around in my Jeep, and pulled up the lead cow.
Now picture this, We are sitting in my Jeep, doors off and roof off. I have no shoes on, I’m still wearing my shop apron, and I have my foot out in the official Jeep driving position of one foot on the peg outside the door.
In my best experienced cattle wrangler farmer voice I say mildly, “Shoo cows. Go back that way” while waving my hand vaguely in the direction I wanted them to go. It was the single laziest bit of cow herding I’d ever done sitting there the drivers seat. The cows looked at me and wondered, almost aloud, “Who is this idiot and why is he between us and all that grass?”
It took a couple more lazy attempts to turn them around, none of which involved altering my position in the least. But turn they did and they started working their way back along the fence towards the gate.
Once they were well established in the direction I wanted them, I pulled past them again, to the gate, and asked my neighbor to hop out and open the gate. Once it was opened, we pulled back to watch what happened. The cows slowly worked their way along the fence till they got to the gate. After a brief pause where we held our breath, they turned and walked right into the pasture. Dustin snicked the gate closed behind them and we waited for Percy while I congratulated Dustin on his first felony as a cattle rustler.
Not his first felony, period mind you. He is my friend, felonies just sort of happen when we do stuff. Just his first cattle related felony. He was proud, since one of his ancestors was hung for horse thievery so he felt like he was carrying on the family name.
Eventually Percy pulled up and I explained that I had his cows. Well most of them at least. Three were last seen running down the fairway by the golf course people. But I had most of them. We spent an hour or so, till dark, getting the rest of his cows back to his place and the next day Miguel, Vicente and I loaded up his cows, which were now intermingled with my cows, onto my trailer and delivered back to him.
Since Percy had helped me when the Ninja Cow escaped, I felt like I’d paid him back. It feels good to be even finally.