I’m in the garden minding my own business and glance up to see two calves outside of their pasture. This always makes me a little nervous when my husband is not around. I don’t have much experience with animals in general let alone cattle. They are big, smelly, and some of them have an amazing death glare. That is about the extent of my cattle knowledge.
I always call my husband first just incase one of the calves that is out is a woman eater. This way he knows to look for a body if I don’t come home. He laughs, tells me to just push them through the yard and put them back. If you’ve ever met my husband you know that his vehicles are not always pristine, where they should be, and probably don’t have brakes. When I find the four wheeler it is located behind a tractor that does not start. Great. Jumping in the farm truck, I turn the key and say a quick prayer that it will start, and head off after the possible woman eating calves.
Once close to them I first try to ask nicely. I point in the direction of the yard and the open gate and say, “Hey guys walk this way and everything will be great. You won’t take out a fence trying to get back to your friends and I can get back to planting, weeding, and watering.” This did not work. They just stared at me like I was missing half a brain. So I drove around them and tried to push them into the yard. My husband can make this sound so simple. It’s not, he lies, or at least leaves out key directions for moving cattle. This time I get a slightly irritated look as they run two steps in the right direction and then both head in different directions. Neither one moving towards the yard.
On to plan C. I’ll push them through a gate in the middle of the fence, but that is closer to their friends than the route through the yard. As I’m deciding this I remember another thing about cows. They can find a down wire anywhere on a fence but when you want them to go through an open gate that is not in a corner they get confused. So I decide to make my own little corner by parking the truck by the fence. This way when the calves walk towards the gate the truck will direct them through it. The flaw with this plan is that I have to get out of the truck and move them towards the gate on foot. I start my slow walk up the hill and around the calves. One of them gives me a death glare and I quickly turn around and walk as calmly as possible back towards the truck. I’m a chicken, feathers and all.
Back in the truck and with a bit more confidence I drive around them and start to move them towards the open gate. This is when they decide they want to explore a little. I’m now yelling not very nice things at them. Something like, “You rooster lollypops, get your baby making butts through the gate! Not that way!” This may have been inflated and repeated many times.
By now I am sweaty, I can hear the blood in my ears, and I want to cry or at least call my husband and yell at someone who understands English. I’m not sure what to do next and just before I break down, those scoundrels turn and grin at me before walking peacefully through the gate.
I want steak. A big juicy steak, grilled and eaten, right in front of those calves.
P.S. As I read this to my husband, he is laughing and pointing out all the things that I did wrong on this little adventure, along with what he would have done. He is also trying to defend his vehicles. It’s not working and he should consider himself lucky that I’m not a cannibal.