Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Cattle Drive Part 3 "The End"

     By now I am sure you realize a few things about me.  I never have "A Plan", I am not the one you want navigating your trip out of familiar territory, and I would do just about any ridiculous thing to get a darn ol' milk cow.  You would be right!!!  It was a relief to see that farm again and pull up to that red barn that held my dear milk cow.  We backed in and she even loaded herself into the loading gate.  She was ready to go. 
     We exchanged money and the short version of our long trip.  The young man selling her got a few chuckles later that afternoon I am sure.  She loaded with no problem.  Hopped right into the trailer just like she was ready to go home with me.  My dad was commenting on what a beautiful cow she was.  I was feeling accomplished from the flattery my dad was sending my way.  I think it was at that moment I really realized just how BIG she was.  She looked out over the top of the gate at me and I looked at the man again.  "She wouldn't jump outta that trailer would she?"  I asked.  He looked at me sideways, "Well she may trample you when she comes out of the trailer after a 3 hour ride, but she can't jump out."  Then he laughs loudly....I sheepishly grin because I feel like a fool for even pondering such an event.  Oh if I had only known what the next few hours would bring.
     We said our "goodbyes" and were on our way.  We wanted to make NO stops on the way home if we could help it.  The trip home was uneventful and I was glad.  I was concerned because she was 4 months bred so a pregnant cow in a hot trailer=not a happy cow.  I soon found out just how, "Not Happy" she was.
     About and hour from home the "middle" started asking if we could stop...he needed to potty.  I told him there were some bottles in the back of the truck to use, that we were NOT stopping till we got home.  As we neared our exit he became insistent that we stop.  I held to my conviction that we would not.  We pulled into the driveway around 5 pm.  Tired, thirsty, in need of a bathroom, cramped legs.....my dad gets out to help me back up to the gate.  We made it!!!!  I look in the rearview mirror to see him motioning me back....then stop....then back....then stop, and then his face contorted in such a manner I opened the door to ask the problem only to see the front half of my cow coming out of the trailer......3....feet...from....the...gate....!!!!  So very, very close.  I slammed on the brakes and she did a nose dive onto the ground.  Luckily she got right back up...I was so relieved she was ok that I didn't realize the problem of her not being inside the gate.  She was free and there was school traffic running up and down our road from the middle school close by.
     She headed into the woods and over to my dad's field.  We followed and coaxed her with food, I begged and prayed and almost cried.  The school traffic was enjoying the scenery of a large milk cow in the middle of an unfenced property.  We almost drove her back home and then she made a run for it.  She went a half mile down the road through the woods...in which I followed.  She then ran into the road and we followed...Thinking, praying, what do we do.  Then I saw a house that belongs to a friend and remembered he has a fenced in yard.  We turned her into his drive way and into his backyard where she stayed till a farmer friend of ours came and helped us load her.  We toted her back home and got her in the fence.
     This was one of those days where you just wish you lived in the city and bought all your food from the grocery store.  I was sure my dad, or myself would have a heart attack that night after all we had been through that day.  But we all lived another day.  I know we provided many people with laughs that day, and days later.... ourselves too.  My only laugh to have that day was that we did not stop at a gas station to let him potty.  She would have barreled over the door and been on the loose somewhere in a town we were unfamiliar with.  We decided we would have just left her and cut our losses....I wanted to call the young man just to tell him how very wrong he was about her jumping out, but I just didn't want him to have any more laughs at my expense.
     Why do this to ourselves?  Some of you may wonder what in the world would possess a person to live the life we live.  I will try to cover that in my next few blogs.  But mainly it is my love of family, life, nature, and animals.  But most importantly my love of God and the beautiful creation He gave us in this blessed land we call home.  I look back at that day now and realize that homesteading is coupled hand in hand with my Creator who spurs me onto new and different things and experiences.  The reality of it, though it is tough and sometimes difficult it builds bonds with the ones we love and memories that can never be taken away.