So there I was, minding my own business, happily washing my car. The truck, as you have already seen, gets no such love from vacuums, soap, or waxes. The steers in the above picture are doing no good deed such as buffing and polishing, either. Do not look upon them with pity or affection, for they are today’s transgressors.
Earlier this week at feeding time we were shown some foreshadowing for the big moment. The whole crew wasn’t showing up to the feed box on a regular basis. Like many movie watchers we didn’t think much about this, like that captain saying his boat was unsinkable. Why those animals are probably coming, walking somewhere in the distance, we told ourselves.
My wife, an elementary school teacher, later described these loafers as the kids who drift to the far side of the playground and ignore you when you tell them recess is over. As it turns out, they’d been walking across the fence which was flattened by a fallen limb, and enjoying the greener grass on the other side one bite at a time.
When the neighbor called that the calves were in his yard I quickly finished up the car wash and announced to the family they needed to put their boots on. It’s an adventure, I told them. We took three vehicles so we’d have the upper hand on these escapees and have them back in no time flat.
When we’re not in a hurry I often try to take the scenic route and gape around at the sights and what other folks are doing. The calves were less inclined for the scenic route and much more excited for a fast paced hike in the woods and hiding from the sun.
I finally managed to head them down the hill towards the road. What followed was one of those working cattle memes to the proverbial T. My favorite of these is the one with the dad saying to sort out the black calf and all of the calves are black. Cut to the part where I yelled directions to my daughter on opening the gap and herding them in. The less I remember how I explained it and the more we say the cattle are up the better. Shout out to friends and neighbors who stop to lend a hand in times like these, too.
You can’t put cattle back up and expect them to stay up without plugging the hole they got out through. After gathering up posts, a chainsaw, and tools, my youngest and I grabbed something to drink and headed back to examine the fence. Nearly all of this one is in the woods, or maybe it just seems so. After nearly losing a boot in a mud hole and having a few unexpected fights with thorn bushes, we found the dead limb laying on the fence.
About supper time we drove by to check on things and all seemed well. No sign of problem or disarray. Let’s hear it for quiet evenings and dull moments. Fingers crossed.