Have you ever started a project and then not finished it? Well it happens a lot around here. We have good intentions and thing things through beforehand, but something inevitably gets in the way. This week, it was a steer named Hector.
Monday, I had an appointment in a town about an hour away. After handling chores in the morning, I headed out. Because of Covid, I was finally able to meet my new neurologist, Dr. Pritula. She has a sense of humor and I appreciate her direct approach to dealing with the migraines that have plagued me my whole life. No sugar coating anything. While I was there, she discussed my options…. There are not many as I have taken most of the prophylaxis for the dreadful migraines with no success. My option is trigger point injections to help deal with issues in my neck and shoulders that exacerbate the migraines. OUCH! But, she was quick and as painless as she could be. Thank you, Doc. I did a little bit of shopping before I came home. In all, I was gone maybe 4 hours.
When I came home, I noticed someone had moved one of my giant pumpkins to block the driveway gate shut. Only one problem with this thought, the north driveway does not have a gate. Apparently, the good Samaritan knew what he or she was doing because the wayward cows were happily munching grass in the barn yard. Quick count, everyone was there. Now to get everyone back in. It went smoothly. Shooed them all in by the tack room and opened the small gate out to the south pasture. Perfect! Except it wasn’t. Darling Hector decided he did not want to go through the small gate and into the south pasture even though mama and his siblings and daddy were all there. They called and called for him, but I am scary, so he ran. He ran all the way back to the north side of the house where they had gotten out. And around the pasture. No problem. Except that it was. Everyone else was happily munching the bale that was set for them and drinking the fresh water and over all just relaxing in the small pasture…. Not Hector. No Hector had to run the 40 acres. He had to cry and bawl for his mother who just looked at him as though he were an idiot for not following in the first place. After the Husband and child got home from work and school, we decided Hector had to come into the small pasture with the others because we did not want him to find another breach and go through it. You would think the little jerk would go through the gate. Nope.
I saddled Hail and took her out after him. She usually is so good with putting the cattle in their place, but her 18 year old body was not feeling it that day. I thought it was just me. Maybe I was giving her the wrong signals, but she would not run, she did a Bean Pole Hop. Deer may look so dainty doing a Bean Pole Hop, but I can tell you from experience that it is NOT comfortable. It is jarring and unstable. She hardly ever fails to perform. She did most of her job, but it took a rider change and pushing the blankityblankblank steer over a gate to get him where we could handle him. And still the too young to be a T bone steak refused to go through yet another gate to get back to his mother.
Once in a while we get animals that are wild as buck deer. It is part of my issue with dealing with the cattle. I spend so much time with the pigs and horses, that I neglect the cattle’s training. When it comes down to the day, they leave for freezer camp, usually everything runs smoothly. But lately, they are testing my love of all things that moo.
That night, I set two gate panels to protect the breach area. I didn’t get back to actually attaching them until today, 4 days later. The day was so nice that I wanted to see the cattle in the big pasture, not eating our precious hay. What I really should be doing is finishing the “bringing of the herbs”. Our yearly battle to find places for all our potted herbs, trees and vines. We only have two rather small south facing windows. Grow lights will be used towards the middle of winter to insure they have enough of what they need. Husband is amazing with the plants. I, on the other hand, did NOT inherit my grandmother and mother’s green thumbs. The story is that when my Grandmother passed away, mom suddenly was able to keep a plant alive. It was amazing. She had beautiful roses, plants in her California room, a gorgeous Bleeding Heart. And I cannot keep a cactus alive. Thank goodness I have my husband who remembers to fertilize them… and water them…. This is what I should be doing now. But I decided to relay Hector’s saga. When I turned the cattle out today, I thought for sure everyone would go out peacefully. Everyone except Hector. He was not on the list for freezer camp, but he is about to be.
I love my cows, I love my cows, I love my cows…. Hold still Hector, I am taking a steak out of your hide!!