The song, Mommas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up to be Cowboys by Willie Nelson, was written a long time ago. Now, with beef prices rising faster than the temperature in Texas, Cowboy is a pretty good career option. That is if you can actually catch the cows to deliver them to sale.
Our rent-a-cowboy, Brock, came out a week ago to load up our girls for their annual trip to visit his bull. He set up the temporary panels and we dumped the cattle cubes into the feeder. Our two momma cows came running with ears flapping in the wind. Those girls love them some cattle cubes. But their babies?
They still nurse and therefore don’t need anything we’ve got.
And they’re stinkin’ smart.
Hence the hour-long dance in 95 degree weather than ultimately ended with them never going near the corral and the cowboy having to leave us with the panels to try to get them penned ourselves. Not to mention a hole in our barbed wire fence where one of the babies actually busted through and miraculously managed to not tear a hole in her skin.
If you’ve been reading this blog for very long, you know that it has taken us two years to bring our momma cows around to having anything to do with us. And that only happened with daily trips down to the pasture with food bucket in hand.
We didn’t have high hopes of capturing the babies, but Andy and I took turns luring the mommas into the pen with their beloved goodies twice a day for a week. We would loiter by the fence and wait for the babies to join their milk supplies, but every single time, one of the babies adamantly refused to go inside the corral.
And she would stare at us. Like she knew.
So last Monday I gave up. I yelled for Grant to take the girls some food. Frankly I was tired of the moos that assaulted me every time I walked outside. So Grant (he’s 11-years-old mind you) trudged down to the pasture while I watered plants on the back deck. Within minutes I heard his voice screaming from the behind the trees, “Momma! I got ’em!”
I put my watering can down and walked to the far edge of the porch where I could see what he was yelling about- all four cows neatly penned in the corral and Grant holding the gate closed.
I could make out his lips moving but it took a minute for the sound to reach me. “I need a chain to lock the gate!”
So I ran down the stairs, grabbed a chain and ran to lock the gate. Then took a minute to congratulate Grant on his cowboy skills. The smug little booger then asked if he got part of the profit since he captured the cows.
So I whipped out what I remember of six years of German classes. “Nein.”
He responded with the famous Grant-stare. The one that makes me feel like the stupidest person that has ever existed. It’s the same one all teenagers wear.
I took the opportunity to let my mommy sarcasm out. “Look at it this way, you’ll have a much easier time mowing the entire pasture while they’re gone.”
Thankfully the ladies only had to spend the night in the corral- the cowboy came and picked them up the next morning. They will return in one month, pregnant, and the young females will be sold in the late fall to make way for new babies in the spring. Ah, the circle of
ranching profit life.
|Momma Jenny on left, her daughter Daisy on right.|