Ok, so it might not be a DISEASE but, it sure is contagious...
A few days ago, we let the goats and cows out onto the driveway so they could mow it for me. They do a wonderful job, by the way - Hillbilly lawn mowers even fertilize as they mow.
After a day or two together, it was time to move the goats on into their summer pasture. We decided to move Belle and Chuck over with them, too.
That, in itself, was an ordeal.
I've "trained" the goats to come when I let out a loud "BAAAA!" so they followed me right off. Belle wanted to be with her bovine buddies, so was being obstinate about joining the goats. Besides, goats have cooties. It finally took both of us out there, two cattle panels, and a 25' rope. We put the panels across the drive, and tied the rope between them. Belle shot through the gate, followed the rope, and found herself trapped in with the "Little People".
Chuck usually just follows behind when you loop a rope around his neck.
Evidently, Belle has been indoctrinating him. Either that or, since he'd never been in that part of the farm, he just couldn't see going there.
(that was a blind joke, by the way....)
I literally had to drag his furry behind most of the way. Naturally, we started out at about the furthest point away that we could, and there was a raging 4" deep 3' wide ocean to cross in between.
Also - naturally - I discovered that my boots had sprung a leak.
We FINALLY got Chuck to the gate, where he smelled fresh grass, and he STOPPED COLD. He was NOT going ANY further until he stopped for lunch. We'd shove, and he'd take a tiny 2" step, another shove, and another 2" step. At that rate, it would have been sometime in the middle of next week when we got the gate closed. I finally resorted to a stick poke DURING a shove (ain't saying where I poked him...), and he went on through.
Meanwhile, Daisy and Mabel where still on the driveway. They saw Belle, Chuck, and the Little People go off to even greener pastures, and were patiently waiting their turn. You could almost see their jaws drop when the gate was closed - with them on the wrong side. To make matters worse, we had some folks coming over to look at the last two puppies we had for sale, so the driveway needed to be devoid of cows. It was back to the old pasture for Miss Daisy Mae and Mabel....ene.
They couldn't believe their eyes when the gate was closed, and they found themselves, not only off the driveway, but back in the paddock by the barn. They were NOT happy. Daisy ran to the far fence, crossed the creek, and followed the fence up the hill, voicing her dissent all the way. Mabel, who is not normally vocal, started in calling me every name in the cow dictionary - except for the good ones.
Both of them made their rounds, then came back to stand by the gate, sulking. We called to them, but they just turned their backs, and swished their tails. Well, Mabel swished her stub....
Yesterday afternoon, when I went out to milk, I was amazed to see both cows standing IN FRONT of the barn, batting their eyelashes. They saw me coming, and trotted down to the driveway, where the temporary panel we have used as a gate for 3 years - was laying flat on the ground. Evidently, the wire I had it hung with is not "cattle strong". I put it back up behind them, then finished the milking.
Latter on, Deb and I were just starting our evening Bible reading when the world became filled with an incredibly loud rendition of "Dachshunds On The Bark". They sometimes bark and carry on when Shadow or a cat is visible out of the patio door (or on the front porch), but this sounded more "ominous". Suddenly, Deb hollers "THE COWS ARE OUT!", and jumps out of her chair.
I calmly arise out of mine, walk to where I can see out the window, and spot Daisy standing on the hill, just outside of the back fence. Evidently, she was wondering what all the ruckus was about, because she was looking for where the sound was coming from. I took off for my shoes and met Autumn halfway through the dinning room, heading my way to tell me "COW". She saw that I was heading her direction, so slammed on the brakes, and left puppy skid marks about 6' long, on the floor, as she slid to a stop.
I praised her for coming to tell us something we had already seen.....
Deb headed out the front door, and I headed out the side. By the time we got out there (all of about a minute and a half....), the two wayward bovine had circled the house and were heading in the (general) direction of the barn. They stopped, looked in our direction, and decided the game was on.
We got them turned, and headed down the driveway, but they decided they didn't want to go back where they belonged, and headed out along the goat fence.
On a side note - it was interesting to find out that, while this was going on outside their fence line, the goats were cheering them on.
Anyway, I followed down the drive, and found that, since the wire holding the gate to the posts was now good heavy "Cow Proof" wire, the wire holding the two panels TOGETHER was not, the two smart girls figured out how to pop it off, and walked out between the panels. Oh well, I opened the gate, and headed out to help Deb.
By now, Mabel was being bull headed (can a female cow be BULL headed?), but knew it was a matter of time before she was forced to go back. She wasn't going to make it EASY, but didn't plan on making it difficult, either.
Daisy, on the other hand, decided she was having too much fun in the cool evening air. She danced around, bouncing from side to side, kicked up her heels, and played "Ring Around The Rosie" with the Apple tree. At one point, she even "hid" behind it, and peeked around the branches to see if Deb could see her.
It was like a fat guy hiding behind a fence post. Sorta like a "If I can't see you, you can't see me", deal.
She finally decided play time was over, turned around, and headed back through the gate, still kicking her heels. I closed the gate, then did an evil thing. I grabbed Daisy's halter, and lead her through the small gate - and off of the driveway. Deb herded Mabel in behind. Once again, they were alone, in the "punishment pasture".
Ever seen a grown cow cry?
They both stood at the gate, tears running down their long, little faces. Their romp of fun came to a sad ending. I checked on them a couple hours later, and found them curled up around the hay ring, still mad at me. They have plenty to eat in where they're at, it's just not as green as the grass on the other side of the fence.
It never is.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Ok, so it might not be a DISEASE but, it sure is contagious...