Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Cow Made Me Do It!

Busy, cold day.
So, for you, my loyal readers, a repost:

The Cow Made Me Do It!
At least one of us was a lady . . .


It was hot!
I was tired!
Give me a minute, I'm sure I can think of better excuses . . .
The milk cow had been quartered in the east pasture, waiting for her to 'freshen'. (A cowboy term for 'give birth'.)
I know.
Cowboys are weird.
Moving on . . .
Her moment was getting close.
Time for her move into closer quarters.
And I was elected to do it.
On foot.
Sigh.
Dad dropped me off at the gate with specific instructions. "Just chase her along the ditch, past the ranch and into the near-west pasture."
I nodded. Instructions received and understood.
He drove off.
Things went well.
Except that Madame Cow (I use this term lightly) couldn't quite get into her head the part of our instructions that said, "PAST the ranch."
I should explain here that the entrance to the ranch was on the north side of the road. The ditch we were following was also on the north side of the road.
And, when the breach in the fence appeared, Madame Cow insisted on turning . . . north. Towards the buildings.
I had to sprint around her (remember I was on foot) and turn her back towards the road.
As which time she took the corner and headed east up the ditch we had just come down.
Another sigh. A little more forceful this time. And accompanied by a "Stupid cow!"
I got around her (feet, again) and turned her back west.
She followed the fence and again turned towards the ranch.
Way wrong!
"Stupid, dumb cow!"
Back towards the road.
Please head west. Please?!
Nope. East.
*#$! Cow!
Just a little swear.
This went on for some time, and my language, I'm ashamed to say . . . worsened.
Or got more colorful. That would be the 'PC' term.
Remember, I was raised around hired men.
Experts at the English language.
Or at least a 'colorful' part of it.
Not an excuse, just a reason.
Again and again, I got round her and tried to head her in the correct direction.
Again and again, she . . . didn't.
And my language got more and more peppered with, shall we say, 'colorful metaphors'?
None of which explained to said cow exactly what I expected of her.
I have to admit that the poor animal was probably quite confused by this time.
There were the buildings. With hay and comfort.
Why were we going the other way?
Okay, strange human, I'll just go back where I came from.
No?
Except that it would have probably sounded more like this:
Food!
Home!
Food!
Home!
In 'cow' of course.
Finally, after what seemed hours of chasing back and forth, and turning the air blue with . . . ahem . . . profanities (me, not her), the cow skipped past the ranch entrance and, wonder of wonders, walked right over to the proper field.
Eureka! (real word)
I opened the gate and she stepped sedately through.
Then turned and looked at me.
Stupid human!
At least one of us had retained her gentility.
I closed the gate and started back towards the ranch, humming happily. 
All that had gone on before conveniently forgotten.
Dad's truck slid to a stop beside me. "Need a ride?"
I climbed in, still humming.
Dad drove for a moment. Then he said, not looking at me, "I got a real education this morning."
I looked at him, innocently, "Oh?"
"Yes. I discovered that my middle daughter knew words I didn't even think she had even heard of."
"Oh." Very tiny voice, "You heard me?"
"Heard you! They heard you in town!"
"Oh."
That was all that was said.
It was never brought up again.
But I knew that Dad knew.
And he knew . . . never mind.
I'd like to say that I never used 'foul' language again, but I'd be lying.
For some reason, working with cows brings out the lowest form of expression.
Probably a good thing I don't work with them any more.
And I should probably point out that swearing isn't an easy habit to get rid of.
Even now, years later, a very strange word will pop into my head.
I'm happy to report that it never makes it past my lips, but I feel some dismay in the fact that it appears at all.
Sigh.
I'm a work in progress.
I should have taken lessons from the cow.

6 comments:

  1. Ever had to walk a cow with the bloat around and around the barn while the bloat "dissipated"? It doesn't "dissipate" very far let me tell you. I would have used bad language but I couldn't stop gagging.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My word is shit. I always use it lol
    Maybe cause I'm always surrounded by it so it's a normal word for me lol

    I feel bad for the cow. Would have been better to have a rope and to lead her. Of course one never thinks to have a rope.
    From the picture it looks like she was quite a kisser.
    My kinda cow. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. You both get my vote for most entitled to say what you're thinking. Even if only in your mind.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love this story! I laughed out loud picturing you swearing a blue streak at that cow. Which, by the way, would have been my response too. Thanks for sharing! And for linking up . . . Smiles -

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would like to say I don't ever swear either... but... well... that would be a lie. I live in cowboy country. :) My bishop, when I was a kid, was an old cowboy. He used to say 'damn' and 'hell' from the pulpit from time to time. He quit saying those words from the pulpit after they made our stake patriarch though. He is almost 92 years old now and one of the kindest, most generous men I know. He would give the shirt off his back to anyone and is dearly loved in our community. You can't always judge a book by the words that come out of it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. This brings back such memories of my love of our cows growing up ;) Granted they were my best friends, so maybe that's where I learned my stubbornness...thanks for the laugh!

    Krista from The Mommy Calling

    ReplyDelete

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