Since I’m not on hand this spring for calving duties, supermom and dog-watcher extraordinaire Megan thought she’d regale me with this missive from the north.
Well, I am on my last seven cows to calve, meaning that 21 little black streaks of fur are dashing in and out and around cornstalks and straw. Never in a million years did I think I could be in charge of calving out a small herd of cows. I must be channeling my mother. She was tough as nails and could do anything.
The last cow I had calve two days ago was a bit woofy. Woofy you ask? Well it all started when I saw the new calf out in the pen and proceeded to approach it like I have all the other calves born this year. I walked up to the calf and Z651, (as she is so affectionately named), blew dragonfire out of her nose. Taking note that my life may be in danger, I slowly tried to find and escape route. The calf thought I was his new mommy and started following me, which in turn kept the dragon right on my heels. I had to call for backup, which in my case is John, the fantastic young man who is helping me with the honky cows and tractor duties. (When Megan said “tractor,” I couldn’t help but be grateful that she is not afflicted with my father’s antique tractor collection, yet sadly, I bet none of her tractors are pink).
As John strolled up to the gate, I asked him if he wanted my cow trainer, which is best described as a long wooden stick. He scoffed at me and said he was fine. I watch John walk up and try and touch the dragon’s face, he was promptly ran up the feed bunk fence. He asked if he could borrow my cow trainer.
The sun was starting to set, meaning that my “new baby” was starting to get very cold. Plan X had to be implemented, the sooner the better. I got the four-wheeler out and drove it into the cow pen. Keep in mind that this pen is littered with land mines of frozen cow pies, straw, and cornstalks. I think John was a little bit wary of my off-road vehicle-driving capabilities, but I reassured him of my prowess. We formulated a plan and decided that I would drive towards the cow, cut her off from the calf, and John would throw the calf on the back of the four-wheeler. After the calf was on, I would blast off to the barn. I said a short prayer, gunned the four-wheeler, got between the cow and the fence to give John a chance to grab the calf and throw it on the back of the four-wheeler. I gunned it again and we took off toward the barn. As I turned to miss a large pile of straw, I noticed John and the calf kind of fly off the side. I stopped to inspect my cargo and John yells GO as the dragon was hot on our heels. I took off again, noticing John was just running next to me now. Oh to be young again. John grabbed the calf and got in the barn and closed the door. We were safe and sound. We had outfoxed the mad cow, and the calf got a session in the warmer.
The next step was to get the crazed dragon into the barn for the night. This involved me baiting her to the front of the barn with her baby and once she started coming towards me I had to drag that calf into the pen. I have never climbed a fence so fast in my life. Doc Randall would be impressed.
So yes, a day in the life of a mom of three crazy boys, miniature ponies named Steve and Penny, 29 cows, and a returned cat named Daisy. Paradise……