Amanda Hopper Writes

A writer's tale of living and working in the country.

Cattle Ranchin is Making Me a Horse Lover

That has to be the title of a country music song. Surely other ill-fated city folk have delved into the crazy notion that they can become cattle ranchers. I am learning to hate cows. So stupid!
And yet apparently smarter than me.
Funny that our pastor spoke on humility Sunday. He taught that the only way to become like Jesus is to live a life of humility.
Jesus must have had cows.
I really wish there was some other way for God to serve me up my dish of humble pie that did not involve chasing cattle around like a five-year-old chasing an ice cream truck. We have spent two evenings trying to reclaim our herd. The mommas are happy to come over to their home pasture and eat. The calves are causing the problem. They will not set hooves on our property, even if their food sources are happily grazing there. This isn’t normal right? Aren’t the babies supposed to stay with their mommas at all times?
Figures my stubborn cows would birth stubborn calves. Calves that look more and more like bulls than heifers. I have been becoming more certain everyday that them is boy parts. I know it seems strange that we haven’t been able to tell up to this date. But imagine trying to check the parts on a dog as they run past you at warp speed. I never knew calves were so fast. They are impossible to catch.
Without a horse that is.
That brings me to the title of this blog. Most country residents that I talk to once had cows. Now they have horses. When I share my stories, they wince like I have initiated a horrific war memory. I take comfort in this. Maybe I am not the worst cattle rancher of all time. Maybe it’s the cows fault. That explanation sure makes me feel like less of a looser. But some little voice inside keeps reminding me that if either of my Grandfathers, or if Andy’s Grandfather were around we would be surrounded by wisdom and experience, not staring down momma cows in thigh-high grass at sunset.The books claim that cows are easy to herd, just stay in their flight zone and if you keep moving forward so will they. So several of us follow the century-old cow-herding procedure and then inevitably comes the “crazy Ivan”. If you have seen the movie “Hunt for the Red October” you will quickly sympathize with me, if you have not seen the movie, go rent it right now and watch it tonight. We have a 50/50 shot of guessing which way the cows will turn in their flight path…and we always guess wrong. 
So I am off to engage in the old adage, “it’s easier to catch flies with honey”. I am in search of “sweet feed” as the locals call it, a.k.a. cow honey. I am hopeful that this endeavor results in my normally gentle cows gracefully following me into our pasture, and not the image of the bear chasing the honey pot that keeps flashing in my mind.
House Update:
We are less than six weeks away from moving into our new home. This causes elation and stress, depending on the hour of the day. The cabinets are in, the wood floors are laid. The trim is about 2 days from completion. Then comes painting, AC, and tile work.


 Master Bedroom

1 Comment

  1. I'm laughing at this…I told you cows are so stupid/smart/frustrating!!! I would take a herd of horses over cows ANY DAY of the week! And don't think it is you…it is most definitely the cows and they are ALL like that! ON a good note…the house is gorgeous! So excited for you guys!

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