Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mabel Is NOT Happy....

Ever since about the third day after we brought Mabel home to the Hillbilly Farm, I march her through the side door of the barn, into the main "room", clear over to the other side of the building, then through the feed room and onto the milk stand in my "milk room".

It's a process that usually takes just a minute or two.

We then go through our twice a day ritual of back rubs, neck rubs, nose scratching, and stomach pats.

Unfortunately, the cow is the only one who gets to enjoy these things....

I get to hold a bucket between her legs and drain her udder - all the while hoping she took care of "business" before she came inside the barn....

Afterwards, I unlatch the headstall, Mabel backs up, turns around and heads back the way she came. This is where we tussle. Mable thinks that she deserves a "reward" for being in the stanchion - and takes it upon herself to make sure she gets one.

As she is heading toward the barn door, she always stops at the nearby haystack to grab a "bite". At first, that's all it was - a bite, then out the door. Now that she is more relaxed around the farm, goats, and me, she has decided to stand and partake of seconds, thirds, and even fourths and fifths....

She stands pat and just rips hay from the poor, unsuspecting bales. I have to go over, shove her head to the side, and pinch her tail to get her to continue on out the door.

This morning, she pulled a fast one on me. She did her normal routine - stopped at the stack, waited for me to shove her head over, then pinch her tail, then heading out the door. I was close behind with a bale of hay for the feeder.

Like I said, Mabel headed OUT the door, but stopped about 6" outside of it. I poked her with the bale and she moved out of the way. Normally, at this point, she follows me out to the feeder and dives in with the two calves.

Not this morning. Nope. I get to the feeder, and turn around just in time to see Mabel's lovely hind end disappear into the shadows inside the barn. To make matters worse - five seconds later, the DOOR SLAMS SHUT BEHIND HER!

The NERVE of some cows! Be sneaky AND obnoxious at the same time! I hobbled up the hill, opened the door, and proceeded to shove Mabel's neck over....

THAT, I vowed, is enough of THAT! So I planned a surprise for Mabel. I took the time this afternoon to build a "Snooker Fence"!

Snooker Fence

I made it a foot taller then the cow, with 6" gaps in the boards. It's also far enough away from the hay that it makes it out of reach.

A couple of hours after I finished, it was time to milk. I did the usual routine, grab a bucket, toss in her food, then open the back door and call her name. Mabel is not one to miss supper, so she dropped everything, and headed for the barn. I let her pass and enter the barn ahead of me so I could see if she noticed the fence.

Sure enough, she looked at it right off - and I SWEAR she did a double take. I was on her heels, so she decided to investigate it later and we headed in to milk.

When we finished, since cows are creatures of habit, Mabel headed for the hay. I hung back a bit to see what she would do. She stopped, sniffed, snorted, and blew her nose a couple of times - then gave me a dirty look.

This Ain't Nice....

I could tell right off that she was not amused in the SLIGHTEST.

Figuring that she was snookered, she gave up and headed for the door, but not before she shot me one last look of contempt.

I'll Get Even....

I won THIS round, but we'll see what she has up her hooves for tomorrow....


  1. My husband and I both enjoy your blog!


  2. I have been, too. I just found it yesterday, when I was looking for news about Mabel. See, I believe she spent some time on my farm last winter.

  3. Being a farm boy I really enjoy the adventures on the Hillbilly Acres.


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