I wrote before of cows getting loose, run ins with law enforcement, corralling them, cajoling them and getting them back to where they belonged. The emphasis was irritation, interruption, and the frustrating need for better fencing.
Better fencing has happened. In one of the scenarios above we met a neighbour who helped us. My husband remarked on the man’s friendly three legged dog. They talked cows and the farmer mentioned he had a bull coming shortly to stay for a spell. We said thank you and gave him some eggs and a chicken.
Last week it came to our attention that Anabelle is again in heat, despite having magic potion delivered by the nice man in the white truck on three different occasions.
What would you do if you were us and the potion fails this time? I asked.
Get a bull, he said.
We’re not set up for housing a bull, but Anabelle’s condition jiggled up the memory of the nice new neighbour. My husband called and the bull was still there. Transport and accommodations were arranged. We did our best to communicate to Anabelle our approval of this new young man and our extreme best wishes that she find him an acceptable sire for next year’s calf.
Hopefully she’ll be home soon. The fields don’t seem quite right without her. Buster’s been wandering the pastures mooing soulfully. On and on and on.
Who knows if this time will be the ticket or not, but the irony makes me laugh. We only met the farmer who’s helping us because Buster got a taste for a good wander and convinced his mother to join him. If broken fences and crazy cows equal a nice little Hereford/Charolais calf next summer, I’ll have to reassess more illogical reasons for hope and gratitude.
Anabelle’s first go round as mama
I really believe that everything we need to know and learn is right in front of us. That kids, cows, and seasons sit hidden in plain sight; lessons laid out for the taking. When I don’t get it, I try to turn the paper sideways and upside down. Although for Anabelle, I may have to throw the book across the room.
A few months ago, Rick from the breeding company came. We requested Black Angus and then chose from one of two test sire vials. Later, Anabelle made it clear that Rick should come again. We sighed for the trial and paid for another vial.
We didn’t see any signs of insanity in the weeks that followed so figured we were home free. Until this weekend when Anabelle spent a lot of time exploring her inner crazy, stomping around, attempting to mount my husband, mount Buster, and yelling for a husband of her own to visit the farm. We gritted our teeth, called Rick, and chose the other sire vial. The one named, “Camero.” I wasn’t wild about a car in the bloodlines, but at stage reproduction critical, car cows are better than no cows.
Yesterday, Girl two was home sick. At 10:30 in the morning a man came to the door. Ya got a black cow an a white cow? he asked. People kind enough to find your house on their own way home (so that nobody gets hurt when your cow meanders down the road) deserve a medal. Although I declined his offer to help, for that too, he deserves a reward.
Six year olds don’t come programmed to be alone for an hour, so Girl two had to come along. I figured that I’d done my part to keep her home to rest, there wasn’t a lot I could do about God dragging her outside to tramp around the fields in pajamas. When we found them Anabelle was ambling beside the road. Getting her back in a field was easy. After that it got energetic.
I used a very wide container of grain to coax, but the cows were too jumpy for Girl two to be beside me. I had her trail behind the cows, which had me calling the cows, getting them to follow, jogging, and hollering for Girl two to follow faster so she didn’t lose us in the paths through the brush. Once we got to the woods, the trick was to find a place to get them back over the fence and onto our property. An hour and a lot of lively running around later, Anabelle and Buster were in the barn and Girl two (who had gone AWOL in the midst of the last bit of Buster chasing) was found changed out of pajamas on the front lawn swinging.
We gave up and bought more electric fence. Anabelle and Buster are in the barn until we finish installing it. There is a wise something in it all, I’m sure, I just don’t know what it is yet.
I don’t know what a first post should say so I won’t try to say it. I went out to the barn today to measure from the withers on Shorty the miniature horse. While there I became overcome with grief at the plight of the horses. Best friends. Separated five days ago because of the screaming in the night and bold attempts to take the friendship to another level. Many attempts have been made to sell ill-begotten male horse. He is currently available for free to a good home, although I foresee the day when we will be paying someone to take him. A monthly installment plan or something.
Out at the barn everyone seemed jumpy. Feeling stupid that I am not a horse person, Shorty and I agreed on approximate measurements, whereby I looked at his withers and measured the gate near him at about where it seemed right. I had asked my husband about letting Shorty out again – how long can a mare be in heat anyway? He said, forget it, we just need to get that horse off the property.
It all seemed so sad and wistful and I don’t know, I just know that after I measured the
gate horse (info for the latest person helping us divest ourselves of said creature), guilt took over. Just for a little bit, said I. The husband cannot help that he has no heart. That his eyes cannot see the poor bedraggled animals. Confused. Wanting normal. Not knowing what to do. Innocent boy horse in barn while girl horse grazes depressed or doesn’t even bother, just stands there.
The rest is a blur . . . I let Shorty out – it being the right thing and all. They said hello rather quickly. Mare Misty turned and it became rather evident even to this equine neophyte that she was in heat in a seriously streaming kind of way. Shorty was rather quick on the draw, proving to the naked eye that in fact his diminished stature is rather no trouble at all to overcome with full size pony.
But this was not going to happen. Not on my watch.
I yelled bloody murder and waved my arms. They took off across the pasture for a little more privacy. Not to be outdone I ran, still yelling so as to ruin the mood, to get a bucket of grain. Thought on the way by to grab a broom. Couldn’t shake the warning from the vet that when she is in heat, he won’t take competition. He’ll come after you and mean to hurt you. So there I am, tearing after them in the field, bucket of grain in one hand, broom in the other. They slow down and I call their names, trying to change the tone. Communicate that we are one happy little family again and here I am out with a little treat. Not sure what even made me think to bring one out. Providence maybe.
Shorty noticed. His slow first steps turned into a dead run, so I dumped some grain on the ground and ran to the other side of the round bale. I wasn’t sure if he’d go for the grain or if we’d still be circling the round bale waiting for him to kill me when the kids got home.
He went for the grain. I snuck back to the barn and managed to get the mare to follow me. Kept my broom though. Finally got everybody back to where they were. Came in the house shaking. Took a while to get my heart to stop pounding out of my chest. Still cannot find a chart that lists how many calories I burned this way.
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