Amanda Hopper Writes

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

Cow Wrangler

Apparently cows are smarter than people. 
That was my thought as we, the five of us, failed to usher Jenny into the corral. How could five people be unsuccessful in herding an almost full-term cow trough a gate?
‘Cause that momma can run.
She was able to out run, and out smart all of us. She wanted to be next to Clara on the fence line and we were unable to convince her otherwise. The corral was in the middle our neighbor’s property, nowhere near the fence, and she realized she was bigger than all of us…. until Andy found his inner cow wrangler. More on that later.
First try:
Andy and the neighbor head down to the pasture with a bag of bread. Andy leads while the neighbor chases. She plays along for about 5 minutes. Eventually, she finds her way back to the fence. Fail.
Second try:
Andy, me, Grant, the neighbor, and his 9-year-old son make a human wall to herd her toward the corral. Complete chaos. Epic fail.
Third time’s a charm:
After calling local ranchers, the advice was all the same…cut the fence. The cow was getting stressed, we were getting frustrated, and she hadn’t had a good source of water for 24 hours. Everyone was hopeful she would walk through the fence wanting to be reunited with Clara and in need of a drink.
We enlist the help of friends and take two trucks into the neighbor’s pasture, hoping that she would respect the size of the trucks instead of scoffing at us on foot. Andy cuts the fence. If you have any ranching experience you can guess what happened next.
Clara ran through the cut fence to our neighbor’s pasture to be reunited with Jenny.
We maneuver the two trucks to keep them close to Andy and the dangling barb wire. All of a sudden, Andy turns into Curly from the movie City Slickers. Maybe it was the heat, or the exhaustion, but he started after those cows, yelling at them to “go on”.
And they did.
I thought it might be a fluke, but he proved himself to be a cow wrangler again later when the cows tried to escape through the fence as he was mending it. I had the truck blocking the opening, but the cows now associate the truck with snack time and kept coming up to the window for bread. They tried to divide and conquer, but Andy had had enough of the cowtitude and told them they were not going through the fence under any circumstances. He threw out his arms and told them to “move it”.
And they did.
I’m struggling with this new turn of events. I am supposed to be the cow-keeper, but Jenny has decided that she is only going to listen to Andy. She loves me for my bread, but I get the feeling that she’s humoring me when it comes to obeying me. I’m pretty certain if I was her only roadblock, she would be long gone. This is a very humbling position to be in.
My cow doesn’t respect me.
How do I live with that? How do I look myself in the mirror everyday with that hanging over me? What will happen if the kids realize? Revolution…anarchy…catastrophe.

1 Comment

  1. This is such a fantastic blog! I'm so glad you're doing this 🙂

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