‘Til the cows come home

3 Feb

The Bag Lady posted today about working with the cows. She knows I love cows and actually let me name one of her new bulls last year. After reading her post, I thought I’d share a somewhat humorous story with you. Sorry if you don’t find it too funny. Sometimes, you’ve just gotta be there.

The summer after I graduated from college I spent about 2 months at home with my parents before moving here to North Carolina. I mostly spent the time hanging out and taking afternoon naps (Dad on one couch, me on the other), and enjoying my last summer vacation for the foreseeable future.

We lived out in the country and almost always kept a few cows at the house. One day that summer, I don’t remember where Mom was, the cows got out. Now, if you’ve ever been around cows, you know they are fairly docile critters.  They know when you’re coming to feed them, either by the sound of the truck or the honk of the horn, and they come running like a dog when you call for it out the back door. Once they get out of the fences, however, they become like cats. You know, how when you call them they just look at you with disdain and then turn the other way? Yeah, that’s cows out of the pen. 

This particular afternoon, we somehow learn that our cows have gotten out and are making their way at cow pace (read: slow) across the street to the neighbor’s house. So here come Dad and I chasing the cows. The neighbors come out of their house to help by jumping on their horses, and their oldest kid gets on the 4-wheeler. Dad and I remain on foot because we only have a horse that tries to kill me when I ride it, and no 4-wheeler. Just imagine 2 people on foot, a 4-wheeler driven by a 12 year old, and two people on horseback running around in no particular order and you’ll get a good idea of how we looked. Oh, and add some pissed off cows into the mix, charging and changing direction every 20 feet or so. Sound fun?

After about 10 minutes a guy drives up in his Camaro and asks what’s going on. I would have asked too, because just looking at us you might think we were all drunk at about 2:00 in the afternoon and trying to catch a cow for dinner. Guy decides to help, so he maneuvers his car to sit right in the middle of the road, thereby attempting to block the cows from going that direction. In theory, this is a good idea. The thing is, if you’re going to attempt to persuade cows to stay away, the proper way to do it is a huge duelly truck that actually takes up the whole 2 lane road, not a little sports car that cows will gleefully step on, or more likely take a dump on. It isn’t the most efficient tactic, but with Dad, me, and the guy from the Camaro standing on the side of the road to keep the cows from going around the car, they are persuaded to pursue other directions.

Right about this time, the cows start to cross back across the road into our yard and my phone rings. GP’s calling and we have this conversation:

Me: Hey! I can’t talk right now, I’m busy wrangling cattle.

GP: Doing what?

Me: Wrangling cattle. 

GP: {Silence. Then laughter}.

Can you tell GP grew up in town? Anyway, the cows finally get back in our fence and we find the hole they snuck out of. Dad and I fix it, then we take a nap.  

That there is one of my favorite stories about the cows getting out. The only other story to rival it is the time the neighbor’s donkey got out and we had to ride in the back of a truck yelling “ho ho ho” to get it to come home. 

PS – It’s snowing like crazy here! If it’s still around in the morning I’ll take some pictures.



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