She always says, my lord, that facts are like cows. If you look them in the face hard enough they generally run away.
-Dorothy L. Sayers
I hate cows.
I wish it wasn’t true, but it is. I hate them.
I realize it’s not their fault they’re smelly and dumb, but facts remain, in fact, facts.
I hate cows.
Of course, it may be completely my fault that I hate them. You see, when one acquires an animal, any animal, but most especially a large animal, like a cow, one must be prepared for them. Any five-year-old who has ever wanted a hamster is aware of this. You don’t get a hamster without first getting a cage, food dish, water bottle and wheel. You don’t go to a pet store, buy a hamster, carry the little guy home in your pocket and then set him up in the bathtub. This would be highly ridiculous. By the same token, when one decides to raise a steer, one should build the barn and put up the electric fence before the steer is brought home. In fact, bringing home the steer should be the very last thing that should happen if one would like any hope of enjoying the steer raising process.
As you may have guessed, our steer, Triscuit, arrived on the farm before the necessary preparations had been made. Now, before you go calling PETA on me, just know that he had a cozy home in a lean-to on the side of the garage. He was kept warm and dry and got plenty of food, water and attention. So, y’know, he was OK. The fencing, however, was less than adequate. He soon learned to jump the fence. YES, I said JUMP. When Olive the heifer arrived, they took to just plowing through the fence as she was too small for jumping.
I came home one evening just in time to see them disappear into the woods. I gave chase, but after falling face first into wet mud I went inside and cried for a while instead. They came back on their own.
One morning Cory’s mother looked out the window to see Triscuit heading down the driveway followed by the dog and our kitten, Ruthie. It was heartwarming. Like Homeward Bound or Milo and Otis. Pattie shook a grain bucket and they came right back.
Things got much better when we put up the electric fence. I barely had to see them. I gave them water once or twice a day and they headed out to pasture on their own. It was great.
Except last week.
When the fence charger blew.
Yesterday morning we got a call from a neighbor. Our cows had wandered into his backyard and would we like to come and collect them. Cory drove me down on his way to work. On the mailbox of the house in question was a sign proclaiming LOST COWS FOUND!
I gave the kindly neighbor (who thought it had all been great fun!) some garden produce and a thank you note and walked my cows the quarter of a mile back home along the road.
I’ve told Cory it’s me or the cows.
But I suppose we could just mend the fence.