Have I ever mentioned that my husband is a farmer? Hence, the odd coincidence that we live on a farm. When we first moved here, the only animals we had were some chickens left behind by a previous owner and a 20 year old goose. A goose that, at 4:00 a.m. thought he was a rooster. I won't go into that now - it deserves a post all it's own.
Well, throughout the past 8 years, our menagerie has varied in size and species. As of the day of this post, we now have in our pasture 3 horses, about 30 chickens, and a cow.
Well, I guess he's not a cow. The technical term for him would be steer. For those city-dwellers out there, a steer is a member of the cattle family who can no longer create other members of the cattle family. He's only good for one thing.
Right now, he's just a bit older than veal. Not quite hamburg...but well on his way. In fact, he may find his way to our freezer a bit sooner than expected.
You see, he was cute. Once. The little calf was about the size of a dog and all the kids loved him. He had to be hand fed for a while. A long while. He loved to be pampered by our little girl who loved to brush him.
Then, he gradually grew. More specifically, he grew horns. OK, so they're only 2 1/2 inches long, but I don't want to be on the receiving end of any type of horn, thank you very much.
The stupid cow, er, steer refuses to stay out of the chicken part of the pasture. We had to manipulate the door to the chicken shed so the cow, er, steer would stop going in and claiming it as his own personal stable. Stepping in chicken you-know-what is bad enough. But, cattle you-know-what in the chicken shed - not fun. We also had electric wire put around their section to keep the horses and cow, er, steer away from their feed and water.
Did you know that young cattle can do the limbo? Really. He gets under that wire every single day and waits for me to come feed and water the chickens so he can partake of their corn and dump their water pails.
Stupid cow. He doesn't deserve the title of "steer."
So, last night, I went to collect my daily 20 eggs from the chicken shed. Like clockwork, all the chickens came running to me expecting their feed. This time, the cow came running with them. Normally, I can swing the empty egg basket at him and he'll run off. Of course, normally, my 6'4" husband is right behind me. Last night, he was out spraying the crops.
So, I go into the chicken shed to collect the eggs. I didn't feed the chickens first as I still had to go to the barn and refill the buckets. Whenever I collect eggs before feeding them, they follow me right up to and into the chicken shed. Last night, the cow was right there with them. His nose right up to the cage-like doors of the shed. When I came to the door to get out, he stayed right there.
With his 2 1/2 inch horns.
I tried opening the door to smack him in the face to get him to run off. Nothing. He just tried licking my fingers. Going outside the shed to face a hungry cow, er, steer with horns is not my idea of a wise decision. So, there I was - in the chicken shed, with this stupid animal using his horns to try to get the doors open while taking a break only to try to lick my shoes or gore a hen here and there.
Did I mention all the kids were in the house, Eric was in a field a few miles away, and I neglected to bring my cell phone? Yeah - me, a cow, and a bunch of chickens.
"Go away, you stupid cow!!"
I figured if I yelled for one of my kids they'd come out. Eventually, one of them did.
"Yeah - the cow has me trapped in the chicken shed!!! Would you please call daddy?!!"
This bit of information made it's way through the house rather quickly and 5 of the 7 children came running out to see mommy stuck in the shed. Glad they're not quite old enough to think about how great a camera would have been at that moment.
My daughter called her daddy - three times. Unfortunately, the spray truck makes so much noise, he never answers his phone when he's out in it. Oh well. He was bound to come back before it got too dark.
Until then, it's me, the cow, and the chickens.
But then, the 10 year old hero showed up. Michael entered the pasture and distracted the cow, er, steer. I finally was able to make my way out of the shed, out of the pasture, and out of danger posed by those 2 1/2 inch horns.
Stupid cow. Of course, if I'd stop calling him a girl, things might not be so bad.
Perhaps it's time someone inform him about the fate of the rooster who made collecting eggs such a miserable chore.
Welcome to...my life!