Counting calves every day is something we’ve gotten accustomed to since we started our whole calf-buying adventure a few years ago. Everyday, my husband or I or both, go out and count the calves, just to make sure everyone is there and healthy. I should also say that we are steer-sitting for my in-laws right now. (I wonder how many people actually do that.)
We sold all the steers we had last month, luckily, before the heat wave landed on us and as of right now, we don’t have any of our own. That will change in a few months, but in the meantime, we had grass available and my in-laws needed grass for their steers, so they brought them over here. Now, we’re not talking about a huge cattle operation or anything….we are talking 7 steers. So, keeping track of them and counting to 7 is pretty darn easy…most days.
Yesterday, a storm came through and brought with it cooler temperatures…thank goodness! And this morning I was out looking at my very weedy butterfly bed, wishing that it would actually attract some butterflies, when the calves came meandering over the hill. I counted and there were only 6. “Well, the other should be coming over the hill shortly”, I thought. So, I piddlled around on the patio, talked to the dogs, then looked around and counted again…only 6. “Hmmmm…..I wonder if I should go out and make sure the 7th one is okay”. (I was still in my PJ’s at this point, as it was only about 7:15.) And see, I live in the country, so I’m allowed to run around outside in my PJ’s. So I waited a bit, hoping that darn calf was just being a slow-poke this morning, but around 8:30, I still only counted 6, so I decided it was time to cowgirl-up and go check on the calf.
It’s not really an option, you see, the farm cart actually “belongs” to him, or so he thinks. He sleeps on it, under it, and occasionally growls when you try to move him off the seat and he’s not ready to go. It’s quite funny, but a little irritating when he’s got wet feet. He insists on resting one of those feet on my leg when I’m the passenger…not sure why that is, but he does.
Anyway, we were off to check on the calves and I noticed it starting to cloud up a bit. It had rained earlier, but looked like the storm had broken up around us, so I wasn’t too worried about it. I drove around the sound end of the pasture, just to make sure everything was okay with the fence and all was fine. Then I went back to the north part to have a look around the cedar trees. There’s a cluster of about 100 cedars that the calves love to take shelter in and it can be hard to spot them in there. Black calves against dark green foliage is hard to see, especially when they might be laying down.
So around and around I drove, through the cedars that would allow it, (did I mention I’m allergic to cedar trees? I am) and no calf. “Hmmm….where could that thing be? I hope he didn’t fall down the back side of the pond dam”…so I looked there and no calf. “Good…okay, let’s check the trees again”. So, back to the cedars and after circling for what felt like the hundredth time, I saw his tail move. “Ahhh, he’s alive”! And after some careful coaxing, he stood up and looked at me, so I knew he and all four of his legs were okay. I could never get him to come out from the trees, but he did move around in them. Non of his buds were close by and whenever they get by themselves like that, they don’t like to come out of their hiding places. I still don’t understand why they do that.
Okay, back to the house we went. I had cleaning to do. Oh, and remember the storm I though had broken up? Well, it didn’t quite break up enough…on my way back to the gate, it started to downpour! And I don’t mean just a little, I mean a DOWNPOUR!!!! I raced Newt and I back to the garage and parked the farm cart. I jumped off and ran to the house while he, of course, stayed on the farm cart.
My husband better thank me for this.