by Edwin Shank, June 2, 2011
I think cows have an affinity with their human companions. They look forward to the weekend. They may have even coined the term the-weekend-get-away! How else can we account for the fact that they so often choose Saturday night or Sunday morning for their escapades?
Our organic cows are no exception. Even though they have a full 120 acres of lush, certified organic grass on their side of the fence, bovine nature still deludes them when the grass on the other side calls. So this explains the frantic, 9:30 pm call from our neighbor lady a few Saturdays past. A cow was on the loose! ...and that is no laughing matter with major highways nearby.
Rodrick and Winfred and I grabbed lights, jumped on the 4 wheeler and into our old Chevy Lumina and raced around to the south side of our farm to the housing development where the escapee was last seen. With the neighbors' help, we quickly located her and herded her over to our pasture fence. But here was a dilemma. The south side of our farm is ½ mile long and there is no gate. But no worries, I have a bright idea. I've done it many times before.
While Rodrick and Winfred held her attention with flashlights, I slipped up beside her, caught her head and took it back around her side in a classic rodeo maneuver to throw her down to try to roll her under the fence. (She had been waffling in her mind if she wanted to the visit the Sunoco or the Super 8 tonight and I was trying to help her see that there was yet another option that she had not thought of.)
After wrestling her powerful head and neck three times while stumbling in and out of the Philemen Run, while the neighbors' dogs barked, and the neighbors themselves hollered encouragements and offered ropes and the boys shown lights in her eyes to distract and she threatened three times to fall on top of me in the creek instead of toward the fence (she weighed about 1000 lbs)... I wasn't tired or anything, but I suddenly had another bright idea that we could just lift the wires and push her under the fence.
So in the end, that is what we did. I guarded her right side and held the wires up with my right hand and Rodrick did the same on the left and the neighbors and dogs all kept up their part and Winfred pushed with his shoulder from behind and we succeeded! Yee Ha!
At least this is our version of the story. For all I know she might be telling all of her girlfriends right now of her success too... of how she succeeded in using the farmer and his sons as toilet paper.
Those with cows will understand!
All in the life of your farmers...