Today is the day! Up early with a cup of hot tea I walked to the barn in the moonlight. There was a faint glow on the edge of the horizon but the stars were still amazing, bright and crisp in the fall air. The reason for this early-ness is we are bringing all the cows and calves to the pens to wean them and then ship the bull calves to a sale. We only do this once a year so it’s fun because it’s different. Punkin knows that something is up and is so excited she is jumping up on me as I walk. She keeps looking up with that big grin like,”What are we gonna do? Huh, huh?” Too bad for her, she gets locked in the tack room because she wants to help so badly, she gets in the way and gets yelled at.
Throwing the horses some alfalfa, I walk to the saddle room to get a brush, comb and a hoof pick. While Minnow and Emory are eating, I brush off the wood shavings that stuck to their bodies while they slept. As the horses munch, I heave the heavy roping saddles onto their backs just as I hear the men drive up. “Buenas dias” is their greeting when they walk into the barn. Such sweet spirits, we would be lost without these guys.
The dew is heavy and my boots are soaked as Jay and I head out horseback through the tall native grasses to the pasture where the cows are. This should be easy. The cows know it’s time to move to another pasture so they are already starting to gather in the corner by the gate.
We hang back on our horses so we don’t spook any of the cows from following each other down the trails. We listen as they pass and our horses’ ears are alert to each rustle or snapping twig as we wait quietly out of eyesight.
When it sounds like the cows and calves have all passed, we bring up the rear and encourage the slow pokes to get a move on.
“Waaaa” We hear a calf still over on the other side of the hill. My husband trots his horse in the direction of the bawling.” You keep on going down the road”, he says. “I’ll move in behind him and bring him along”. The only thing is, as Jay leaves it doesn’t sound like that calf is coming any closer.
Sure enough, as he reemerges from the brush, Jay says the calf is on the other side of the fence. Trying to move a single calf through a gate is like trying to move mercury so we leave him till later. When we get to the corner, we ride up on a traffic jam. The huge longhorn steer named Bevo, that started off a novelty with his wide, long horns is now just a pain in the rear. He has blocked the gate and won’t let his shiny black Brangus cows go through. He is the big boss of this group of cows.
Minnow and I cut him away from the herd, letting one of the cows go with him back out into the pasture and finally push the rest of the girls through the gate and down the road toward the barn.
Except for the longhorn, the cow and the calf still in the pasture, it feels like a job well done. Let’s hope they all meet up and talk about it instead of running for the brush. I will ride the young guns out after lunch and look for them. Right now, we still have to seperate calves from their mamas, load the cows with bad attitudes in a trailer to haul to the auction barn and then spray the rest of them for flies.
Thanks to Bevo, this day is long from over. A butthead
on so many levels.