Holy Cow: How NOT to Bring Home Cattle

By AbeeNormal, Jan 25, 2012 | |
  1. AbeeNormal
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    Everything you read from me will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth " at least the way I perceive it. Nothing in these articles will be theoretical. If we havent actually done it, there wont be a post about it. Dont misunderstand; I have lots of ideas about what Id like to do: raise rabbits, get some mason bees, and dig-in the greenhouse by a couple of feet, just to name a few. But unlike theories and ideas, when you actually start doing things, they dont always turn out as expected. Take Houdini for instance. Thats what we named the cow that jumped out of the trailer on the way home from the sale barn and disappeared.

    I had never been to a cattle auction, but my folks had bought cows a number of times and they came to help us figure out what we were doing as well as buy a few head of their own. We took our seats in a small arena and waited for the cows to come marching by. Unfamiliar with the quick pace and language of the auctioneer, it took several minutes to begin to understand how things were going. A lovely pair of brown cows came through and I commented to my mom that they had pretty eyes. She agreed and bid on one, thus she bought Charlotte. Then we won the bid on three pairs of black momma cows with their calves. We had expectant mother Charlotte, three black momma cows and three babies - seven cows in all for our small trailer.

    Loading went well. At least thats how I remember it, probably because the men were in charge and I didnt have to do anything but load the children back into our small truck. My husband and I followed my dad who was pulling the fully loaded trailer down the interstate. From our vantage point the herd looked uneasy. Houdini kept raring up on her hind legs. I feared for the baby cows beneath her. Before I could grab my phone and alert my dad that it looked like we had a jumper, Houdini leapt out of the small opening in the back of the trailer and hung, high-center, over the top rail. By Gods grace there was enough weight in the trailer that she didnt flip it.

    Dad was able to pull over, and traffic continued, at a slower pace, around us. While we were trying to untangle a rope from the back of the pick-up and tie the cow to the trailer, Houdini managed to scramble the rest of the way over the railing. Freeing herself from the bondage of the trailer she began trotting happily in an eastbound direction down I-20. In our follow vehicle we tailed the cow, trying to keep other drivers aware so they could slow down and avoid the animal. A guy in a U-haul truck helped us box her in and herd her off the road. She trotted across the median and through an opening in a fence. The fence had been part of some sort of defunct state park. She took off toward the lake and was never seen again.

    We made it home with 6 of our 7 cows, no one was hurt, and there were no accidents on the freeway " thank you, Jesus. The daughter of Houdini, Madame Burger, is now halter broken and very gentle, unlike her momma. The next time we go to the sale, well be sure to have a fully enclosed trailer.

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