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Monday, August 29, 2011

Missy's all Caught Up

Last week Wednesday we broke the 1925 record for most days over 100 in a summer.  That was day 70, we’ve kept going since then.  Anyway, I came home to find a large white truck with a cattle trailer at the gate ahead of me.  Turns out it was Mrs. St, her son M, Mrs. St’s friend (I didn’t get her name, but will call her Mrs. W) and her daughter.    As we got to the house I noticed that the cows were all penned up; including Missy. Ohhh, this could be good.  

Turns out they were there to load up the cows and take them to the sale in town on Thursday because there is just nothing for the poor animals to eat, except okra and I’m not sacrificing that for them (K, you’re welcome).

M is 15 and was very good at getting the calves all separated from the mommas, then down the chute and into the trailer.  L was out there helping too and I sent J outside to watch since loading up cows doesn’t happen every day around here.  I’d guess they were done in about 20 minutes. 

They headed off to the sale barn to drop off those babies and then they were coming back to pick up the mommas.  They got back about 7:45, just as it was starting to get dark.  That’s when the fun really started. 

M hopped into the pen, and when you see a skinny 15 year old boy scale a seven foot high fence in one climbing step it’s impressive.  They got four cows onto the trailer successfully. Here he is showing us how cool the sparks look between the cattle prod and the fence.  

He started getting four of the mommas down the chute, but they are smart and know that going down the chute could be their near final walk.  You can bet Missy knows this. 

When the cows stopped being cooperative and started breaking through the wooden stringers that separate the pen into sections L, Mrs. St and Mrs. W got into the pen too.  Oh I should mention that Mrs. W had just gotten off of work when she started with all this cow moving business, she was still in her work clothes.  She was just there to drive the truck so no big deal right?  I stayed out of everyone’s way to watch the ‘kids’ who were clinging to the fence with all the excitement. 

Then I noticed this:

Yes, those are Mrs. W’s shoes.  She had been on the gate of the trailer, outside the pen with flip flops, but now that she was in the pen she had shucked the shoes.  Wow. 

Then the next cow they got (certifiably crazy and likely Missy’s mentee) was headed down the chute but caught a little glimmer of daylight between the head gate and the trailer and started fighting for freedom (great picture I know).  You can see two humans trying to get a thrashing cow into the trailer.  The cow is black and I didn't want to get any closer.  

I’m pretty sure I heard Missy call to her to go for it.  It sounded like a moo to everyone else there, but I understand her a little more.  The black cow had her head and a little shoulder out in the free air and after they tried really hard to get her turned into the trailer, they decided to pull the truck forward let her go and 'get her' another day. 

That was all it took to get the remaining cows and one bull really riled.  They had seen one of their own have success.  They knew the humans could be beaten.  It was a near frenzy in the pen at this point with two teenaged boys (M’s friend and dad showed up with an extra trailer), two men and two women all trying really hard to get the next one down the chute.
It's another fabulous picture I know.  Please imagine almost mayhem...

Missy was almost down the chute once or twice, but that day the horns saved her because her big ol' head won’t fit down the chute.  After ten or fifteen more minutes of more boards breaking, cows running in circles, people jumping out of the way, dust stirring up like you can’t imagine, and darkness setting in Mrs. St calls everyone off.  "Ok, we are tearing up Mr S’s pen, someone is going to get hurt and I don’t want to go to the hospital tonight.  Since one got away we’ll go ahead and let these go and just come back for them next week."  She's a wise woman.

One point Missy and her peers.    

They are free for now.  But plans are in the works; likely on both sides.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OOOOOOOOOOO Weeeeeeee (high pitched crotchety old man yell) sounds like a mighty fine time at the "Ranch Larro"