I know as well as the next guy (or in this case, girl) we aren't to leave our gates open on a ranch. You never know what might go through that you really don't want to get on the other side. I've even seen it on TV shows, movies, and the like. And we've all heard that special saying, you know the one..."You trying to let the cows out of the barn?"
Well, if you are a city-girl gone country like me, you will understand the few moments of panic I endured earlier today. If you are a long-time rancher who is used to hanging out with cattle, well, you'll just get a laugh out of the story I'm about to share.
But first, if you've been reading my blog you already know that we have some cattle. Heifers for about a year and a half now - - or maybe it's two years, either way they've been around a little while. Most recently we acquired a bull on loan and purchased two calves - - twins matter-of-fact. That's not big and interesting news. You also know that Caleb and I feed them every morning as part of our routine. Well, if you want me to get real technical, Johnny feeds them on the weekends when he's home, but I do the week day duty.
Having not had rain in a while, things are pretty dry around here. More than pretty dry actually. It's a sad sight to look around and see brown everywhere you look. Come morning, all the girls and the one young fella out there bawl and bawl at the first sight of a human, begging for feed and hay.
Up until recently, I've been pretty skittish around said cattle. The trough was a short walk away from the gate and Johnny graciously moved it closer to the gate for me. Because EVERY day, I have to right the trough. The critters eat all the feed then knock it over trying to get to the last drop. I was pretty nervous walking in there with them. They are tremendously bigger than I am after all. So having the trough next to the gate worked GREAT for me! ;o) Then one Saturday I watched Johnny feed them. He walked in, righted the trough, dropped in feed, smoothed it out and walked back out. They just stood back watching him. I realized - - gee, whiz! I can do that! So, I'm really not scared of them anymore.
Today - - they were really hungry and I made one mistake. I set the pails of feed on the outside of the fence in front of the trough. I went into the pasture and didn't HOOK the gate behind me. It was shut, but unhinged. I was only a few steps away when I saw the bull push it right open and walk through. I tried to convince him (well, shove him actually) into coming back in, but hey, he liked those bits of green grass he found! Ah, yeah, like that's gonna work! The big girls followed him right out!!! I stood there flabbergasted at what to do! Ten seconds, okay, maybe fifteen seconds of panic!
I ran to close the gate at the end of the driveway. I figured, at a minimum, they WERE NOT getting off the property!! I went back and stood there. They stared at me. I stared at them. They nibbled grass. I thought to myself. Seriously. What now?
Then my sometimes blonde head engaged into drive. Silly girl. You've got the feed they want!! I poured the feed in the trough, fluffed it about, called out to them, and the bull went straight in, twenty seconds later the first girl went in. What about the second girl you ask? She stared me down. I stared her down. I fluffed at the feed a bit, called to her - she was all of 5-6 feet away, and she did her best to intimidate me. Finally, she looked at the other two devouring the feed and I guess she decided if she kept snoozing, she was going to be loosing...Back in she went.
Mission accomplished for this city-girl gone country. Not a big deal to a lot of you. But for me, a very big deal! Especially considering that I got this done and didn't even have to call my Johnny in a panic to ask, 'now what do I do?'!!
Firm shake of the head, shoulders back, standing proudly. Yeah, I did it! Oh, yeah!