Cows. You can’t live with them and life would be so boring and sad without them. Also, without cows there would be no butter.
I am pretty sure I’ve met every neighbor on this mountain at one point or another due to my cows visiting them. You see, lots of things will make cows wander. First off, cows like to push fences. They look for weak places and find ways to push through. If you’re blessed enough to have Highland Cows, you know that they have the thickest skin in the world. Barbed wire doesn’t bother them and most electric fences don’t either.
Cows have a very strong sense of smell. They can detect odors six miles away. They can smell their friends, and especially potential lovers from a long way away. They can smell a babbling brook long before we can hear it. Cows are herd animals, which means they like to hang in groups. Two cows is great for company, but if there are eight more cows three miles away, they might as well wander that way to visit.
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. This phrase was invented by cows and passed down from generation to generation from grandpa bull down to baby calf. Cows emerge from the womb, eat a snack, find their fence lines, then immediately decide what is beyond it that they must get and that becomes their life goal. We have six acres of vegetation for two cows to share, but that’s nothing compared to a neighbor’s tiny manicured lawn– that’s the good stuff.
In my opinion, if a cow can find a way to embarrass you with your neighbors, she will. Not once have had I had to go get my cows on a day when my hair and makeup were done nicely. Nope. I usually show up looking like a hobo and wrestle my bovine babies into ropes and head on home leading them with the 4 wheeler at 3 mph. I do get a lot of lovely time to look around and take in the scenery and views.
Today, my idiots were out. If you ever meet someone who says that they don’t call their cows names they are lying straight to your face. Until you’ve tried to push or pull a 900 pound animal, you might not understand the name calling, but it’s quite therapeutic and highly necessary. Anyways, a neighbor called to say his neighbor told him they were near her house and described them and they ‘sound like yours’. Spoiler alert: They’re ALWAYS MINE. I jumped out of bed and flung on sweats and a sweatshirt and my farm boots. I put on my heavy coat too because just because it’s not raining this second doesn’t mean it won’t rain exactly the second I hook up the cows and settle in for an hour ride back home. I grabbed my favorite cow gathering ropes. Everyone has different preferences but they all give you rope burn on your palms just the same. I checked where I was originally told they were. “Oh no, they haven’t been here for at least an hour.” Cool. Bopped on down the dirt road on my 4 wheeler over to the neighbor who called to see if they made it across the massive field/mountain/hillside to his property. He said he hadn’t seen them yet but I was welcome to drive through his field and up the hill looking for them. Halfway across the bumpy terrain driving over rose bushes and stumps is when I wished that I had taken a moment to put a bra on. But it was fine; everything was fine. He said if I went all the way across the open space I’d come to a road and could take that down to between two properties over on the other side. A side note: in the country, when someone says road that could literally be anything. Below is said road. Oh, and by the way I had already cruised through it once before I took the picture so it didn’t even have tracks to help identify it as a road.
After driving through the field and brush back and forth long enough to get smacked in the face with my boobs several times I decided to head back for home and wait for the next sighting. But I know exactly where they were.
Cows are smart. Don’t ever let someone tell you that they aren’t. I finally gave up and headed for home. I told Mr. Kind Neighbor that I hadn’t seen any sign of them and he said he’d let me know when they arrived at his house (and to visit his cows). I got home and turned off the 4-wheeler and came inside. I went to the bathroom, got a drink of water, crawled into bed to relax for a moment and that’s the exact second my phone chimed to tell me that the cows showed up in the neighbor’s front yard. Cows are smart. Up I got to go get those amazing little critters who I love so dang much.
I arrived to break up the party. I got James hooked up first. Claire is the tricky one. She moves QUICKLY for a big girl. The second I get off the 4 wheeler with a rope in hand she immediately starts planning her escape route. She dips, dodges, dives, and ducks with great skill. I outsmarted her today and slipped the rope around her neck to the cheers of Mr. Kind Neighbor who said I could come help him with his cows anytime. That made me feel proud for a tiny moment. Then he told me that his cows got out yesterday and it made me feel good knowing I’m not alone. In fact, I learned his name today and this is the second or third time he’s dealt with my cows. I bet if I called him in the middle of the night with a cow emergency though, he’d jump in his truck and come help. Weird huh? I guess country people really are as crazy as all the songs make us out to be.
I got them back to our property eventually. We had words. Names were called. Threats were made. If you told me I could give up my cows and move to the city and never have to go wrangle a cow again… I’d never take that deal. I love these big hairy idiots so damn much. I can call them names and make threats, but if you ever hurt my babies– my threats to you will be promises. Don’t mess with mama bear (mama cow?)