Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The best laid schemes

The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft a-gley
Robert Burns
Today I was going to spend time on a self project - one of the ones I promised myself the other night. This isn't a sexy project, or anything as luxurious as a spa day, or even anything for my health (maybe mental health), but something I have been wanting to do for a couple of years. For a few hours today, I was going to put aside my work, my guilt over having undone things in the house, and work on my library - organizing, dusting, cataloging, loving. My mom gave me a library database system a few years ago and I have been fixin' to work on the project for years. I think I have one book in the database.

Well today was the day. I was going to start as soon as I finished the dishes for dinner. I did! Then, I called for K to close the chicken coop door. He walked outside and squawked, "Mom!!, Come help! Hurry!" The first thing I saw was a baby calf walking around in the yard. I looked at the gate and sure enough it was open and the horse was running for the opening. And I do mean running.

We have a problem keeping the cows fenced when my husband is away. In fact, he usually doesn't even make it out of the county before one or another will jump a cattle gap or pull a fence down, a tree will fall on a fence or someone will have a car accident thereby collapsing the fence. Perhaps they are scared of my cattle skills or maybe they just want a vacation, but Mr. W's first question when he calls is "Are the cows out?" He has been gone for a while and we have not had one cattle related incident. I was feeling a bit smug until tonight.

I quickly stepped in front of the horse and pushed him back inside the fence, carefully keeping my bare toes out of hoof's way. I closed the gate, called for Princess to get some feed for Dusty to lure him away from the action while K was tackling the Yellow Dog because he was not helping. Unfortunately, the calf called for his mother and she rushed the gate and poinged me back a bit. Now I had no way to get the calf back in the pasture because if I opened the gate the momma would get out too.

That's when we noticed the cows strolling around in the garden. Though my wooden garden fence is cute, it is not designed for restraining heifers or even baby calves. Once the dog was restrained, the bovine population breathed a collective sigh of relief and settled, except for the crazed momma of a few posts ago. Motherhood did not benefit her overall demeanor. She is a bit too high strung for her own good. Doesn't she realize that we are the ones who plant all that nice clover for her to munch, provide cool, clean drinking water even during the drought, and treat her to some corn every now and again?

K lured Dusty away from the gate and swooshed the crazed momma giving me time to encourage the baby, who has grown exponentially by the way, to step back inside. After that we just slipped behind the garden to open a metal gap to let the garden cows back into the pasture. Unfortunately, we weren't quick enough. One of the heifers launched herself through my fence taking down all the chicken wire and a strand of barbed wire.

As so often happens after an incident, we started trying to decide who was responsible for the chaos. Knowing that my children rarely open a gate, preferring to go over it, I knew that I had left that gate unlatched. Perhaps I was too excited over the chain swinging.

Needless to say, I haven't logged or dusted many books.


Susan T. said...

Wow, Wisteria. I can see why cataloging had to take a back seat. I hope you got everybody rounded up okay.

Kate in NJ said...

I hope it all worked out ok, wow!

Becky said...

Even the barbed wire fences we have aren't perfect at keeping the calves in. It's not much of a problem in the summer when there's enough grass to eat on both sides of the fence. But after the first frost and the grass starts to brown, the calves start looking to my garden. I don't have much in it -- just the last of the carrots, beets, and Swiss chard. Who knew that calves like Swiss chard?!

Hope you get another stab at your day soon :)

Mrs. G. said...

Oh, this sounds so familiar. Whenever something goes wrong at our house, my healthy little family ignores solving the problem and moves right into assessing blame.

Take it from me, another homeschooling mom, those books aren't going anywhere. Tomorrow is another day.

ZBTzahBTzoo said...

I think if a cow did realize and appreciate its care and keep to the degree that it minded fences and gaps and stayed away from my garden, I might be persuaded to abstain from dairy and beef. After this post, I've got a hankerin' for pot roast.

(Was that a horrible thing to say?)

Ms Heifer wasn't cut by the barbed wire, was she?

Wisteria said...

I'm all for eating meat and one of those calves that escaped is destined for my table. He's just not ready yet. I do have some young roosters ready for the table, this weekend.

If pot roast is what you're craving try this slow cooker recipe that sounds delicious at Mrs. G's.

I'm having this pot roast on Saturday, since most of that day will be spent in the city waiting for Princess.

The heifer was not hurt, just my fence. At least it wasn't the wooden part facing the house and road.