|The Cow Herd At Dusk|
Over the weekend there was a little excitement. After dinner, a knock came at my daughter's door and a passerby told her that "her" cows had gotten loose. Well, she doesn't have any cows, so the news was a bit of a shock. But she thanked him all the same for letting her know and then she and her boyfriend ran outside to see what was up. The next-door neighbors breed cattle, and there was a good chance they had escaped from there. The back patio, which overlooks the neighbor’s hay field, gave the best vantage point. Lo and behold, there were a small herd of the neighbor’s cows rummaging around in the field, heading up toward the backyard.
Now, there are no fences around the hay field and it's bordered by the road, so immediate action was called for.
They drove to the neighbor’s house and knocked on the door, but no one was home. Then they went to the caretaker’s/manager’ house. And the barns. No luck there either. Now it was up to them to figure out how to get the cows to safety. She hiked out into the hayfield where there were about 40-50 cows, calves, and steers. Her boyfriend located the key to the padlock on our now-locked gate that borders the field. She thought if she could somehow herd them into the lower pasture and contain them in until the owners could be located that might keep them out of trouble for the time being.
First, though, she would have to move our herd out of that field and lock them in an adjoining pasture. The horses were slightly excited with their proximity to the cows. They don't get a lot of four-legged visitors around the farm, and they were in a panic. She was able to lead Donnie to the gate, as he seemed the least upset by activities next door, but nobody would follow. They decided synchronized prancing and snorting were a more appropriate response to their bovine visitors. Ultimately, she had to let Donnie rejoin his friends. Back to the drawing board…
While over knocking on doors, she had noticed a gate was open to one of the fields. Maybe if she could just herd them towards it maybe that would work? Easier said than done since she’d never worked with cows. But as luck would have it, with the horses snorting and flailing all over the field, and a strange person coming through the hay field behind them, they seem to have decided to head back toward home anyway. Luckily, just then the caretaker showed up in his pickup truck. Thinking fast, he drove into the field and hit the sides of the truck with his hands--their version of ringing a dinner bell. That did the trick and the herd followed the truck through the gate where they could be locked safely away. In the meantime the owners came home, too, and everything turned out all right.
I missed all the excitement. Having no experience with cows I’m actually glad I did. My daughter lives in the house on the farm that borders the hay field. I have a house on the corner adjoining the farm. My view overlooks the pond, the indoor, garage, one paddock, the top-riding arena by the road, and the barn. So I wouldn't have seen the hayfield or cows from my house. In this case I’m glad I got the story second hand instead of first hand for once!
Until next time
Quote for TodayCows are gentle, interesting animals.