Sunday’s are considered a day of rest at the farm. It’s something we strive to do, just to relax from six days of hard work on the farm. The problem is that the cows don’t have any sense of what day it is. And personally, I don’t think they care, either. Given a chance, they are going to figure out a way to escape.
Easter Sunday began as a relatively normal day. James came in around 10:30 Saturday night, and he and the Country Boy stayed up to dye Easter eggs. Yes, I know. They are grown men, but this is one of their delights, so I let them have at it. Sunday morning, I put James’ Easter basket on the kitchen island, and when he got up, he grinned and started in on some of the candy while he checked out all the new fishing lures, hooks and worms. I had just settled down to read a new book, when the Country Boy came blasting out of the bedroom, exclaiming, “We’ve got cows out on the road”. All three of us headed swiftly out the door. And got met with a rainy downpour.
Sure enough, eleven out of 16 cows were spread out across the road from George’s pasture all the way over to Pam’s garden. Thank goodness she hasn’t planted yet, or I’d be planting two patches of peas! I immediately headed to the barn for Range Cubes, and made the grand mistake of thinking this would only take a few minutes. For the first time ever, that bucket didn’t interest them in the least.
The result of all the rain we’ve been having is knee-deep grass. When it finally dried up enough for us to mow, we started with the places between the lane and the greenhouse, the back of the house and the strips between the lane, the firewood rack and the shop. By the time we finished that, it was late, and we figured we would finish up on Monday. Very. Bad. Decision.
Scratcher, the ring leader, decided she was going to test the old cliché regarding the grass on the other side of the fence. With the high winds and heavy rain we’ve been having, something fell on the electric wire and grounded it out. Apparently, she figured that out, and headed to the weakest corner of the fence – right next to the road at the furthest point and only blind spot from the house. Bossy, of course, was right behind her, and the rest decided it would be fun to follow.
It took us almost fifteen minutes just to get them off the road. Once they were safely behind the gate, they made a beeline for all the grass around the garden. And of course they plowed right through the middle of that freshly tilled ground. We tried our next trick. James headed down with the tractor to get some hay. Normally, once they see a roll on the back of the tractor, they kick and jump and run, trying to eat it while the tractor is moving. Bossy did at least look up to see it pass, but immediately stuck her nose right back into the grass.
At one point, we had cows in the garden, behind the greenhouse, in the herb garden and headed down the lane. It took some fancy footwork, quick moves and a lot of dodging, spinning and running, but we eventually managed to get them all back in. Except for Miss Ruthie. Trust me – I’ve gotten dirty looks before, but this child takes the cake. She never got excited. She never kicked, screamed, ran or dodged. She just took a bite of grass, and as we tried to herd her to the gate, she just gave us ‘The Look’, took another bite, then slipped around us to another patch. Another push, another Look, another circle, another bite. This went on for about another ten minutes. Thank you, Rocky and Annabelle. Both of them got on the other side of the fence from her (which was in my herb garden), and started talking to her. Miss Ruthie looked up, answered her compadres, took another bite then walked over towards the gate. I was standing ready, and the Country Boy managed to get her back in the pasture. Just as simple as that.
Randy and James spent another half hour in the rain trying to find the breach and get it fixed. By the time they got back in, both were soaked to the skin. A hot shower, a good lunch, and we were back on track for our Sabbath Day rest. Of course, all three of us just casually checked the windows the rest of the day – in case Scratcher got another wild hair.
It makes a Farm Wife wonder just why in the world she would choose to raise cattle. Why couldn’t she just be satisfied with a few yard chickens and a great garden? As she walked around the yard during a break in the rain, she got her answer. With the help of her four-legged escapees, her mowing chores and weeding chores in the herb garden just got smaller. And she thankes God for small favors, and learning that all trials may actually turn out to be a good thing.