The Cow Whisperer
Shearing Day was fast approaching, and I had a ton of work to do. The majority of it had been done, but I still had 14 sheep and a cow to organize before that could happen. To make things worse I had 7 acres of open pasture, two sets of sheep that refused to flock together, and a Holstein calf that thinks he is a border collie. Yep he likes to chase sheep, typically on a dead run too. For this reason the black faced sheep are scared of the white faced sheep and both black and white faced sheep are petrified of the cow. Oh my!
The first move was to move the cow to its own pen because with him on pasture, the sheep would be frightened to death. No amount of grain would get him there so I resorted to more difficult methods. I grabbed him in a head lock and tried to force him in the pen. This he did not like and resisted quite well. 4 hooves on a 150 pound animal beat the traction of two feet on a 175 pound person most days, and today was sub-par to most days. After taking several face full’s of dirt/mud/manure I rethought my plan. Spying one of those new fangled steel and wood calf-persuasion tools…otherwise called a shovel... I chucked it at him. Now to my credit it was not my fault the cow did not move and thus took a hard thump to the head from it. But despite the prudent and swift use of this new calf-motivator, he seemed even more uncooperative and would not let me walk up to him anymore. This is a problem when you need to get a calf into a pen.
Out of desperation I dug out my secret weapon…my wife! Now I did not use her picture to scare him into the pen. She has this strange ability to make livestock go where she wants them too. I do not know what it is about her, and while she generally dislikes farm life, she will come out of farm-life-reluctance and help on occasion. Today it was worth listening to the “what kind of farmer are you” speech and so she came out clad in Berkenstocks without a care in the world.
I have no idea what kind of sassy sweet-nothings she whispered into his ear, but low and behold, he pranced right into his pen within 2 minutes of being rubbed along the neck, stroked onto his back and of course sucking on the wife’s fingers. (Its overrated in my opinion). She looks up at me and says, “Just call me the cow whisperer.”
Yeah whatever…just luck that’s all and anyway there is the sheep to fetch.
Yep same thing. She walks right up to them in the middle of this pasture no less, whispers sweet nothings, uses her most seductive and sweet bedroom voice (which I am oh so jealous of) and off they go, two flocks of separate sheep that prance right into their allotted pens without a care in the world. I tell ya…I was amazed even if I now have to endure the occasional “Just call me the Cow Whisperer” line!
But I have come to terms with my inability to handle livestock. I realize that I need to amend my livestock handling procedures if I want them to do what I want…so yesterday I went out and bought a bigger shovel!
I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"