It's been wonderful
Today, a guest post by little brother, Blair.
|You get the idea . . .|
Calving season on the ranch.
Every spring the cows in the herd would drop their bundles of red and white on the prairie grass or snow or mud depending on the weather.
And every year there was usually one or two cows that were a little late.
One spring dad brought these cows in to a small field near the ranch house.
It was late enough in the season that the herd bull was running with the expectant cows so that they might calve a little earlier next year.
Umm . . . don’t ask me to explain . . .
When a new born calf entered the world at dad’s ranch we had two tasks.
- Tag the calf with a number that tied him to his mama.
- Give the calf an oral vaccine that protected it against . . . whatever. (It has been a long time so I don’t remember what the vaccine was for. The good news was that the vaccine was oral. Which usually made the calf a little more cooperative.)
Ok, back to the late cows and bull.
The herd bulls that dad ran on the ranch were purebred Polled Hereford. Usually very docile.
Sometimes you would wonder if they were awake.
The bull that dad had with the late cows was no exception to the comatose or docile or gentle rule. On many occasions I had climbed up and sat on his back, then scratched said back very hard.
The bull loved this.
He would snuff his nose with enjoyment.
Because that’s what bulls do when you scratch their backs really hard.
One day I had to go tag and vaccinate the newest baby on the ranch.
It happened that this calf was a drama queen.
At first, it was not going to just let me catch it.
The field that the calf was in had a little open pen. I chased it into the pen and then grabbed it before it realized it was cornered. But when I grabbed it, it bawled like I was trying to cut some essential member of its body off.
I didn’t pay much attention because calves sometimes behave this way. They often quiet down as they get older.
So I was in this tiny pen just off the side of the small pasture where the bull and cows were grazing.
There was a high fence around the pen, providing sometimes shelter for the cows, but obscuring the view into the pasture. I had caught the calf and pinned it on its side to vaccinate and tag.
The calf was saying, “Mom, this guy is being a big meany!” In calf language.
At this point, the bull, which weighs just over 2000 pounds (and who I thought was my friend) came running around the corner.
He stopped about a foot away from me and bellered.
And blew his nose on me. Because that is what happens when a bull is bellering madly.
When you have a 2000 pound bull inches away I’m sure it makes them sound even louder.
At this point I was not worried about nasal discharge.
As I was looking at this bull up very close, I had the thought running through my mind. “I don’t care if the bull and I are friends, he has blown a mental fuse and he is about to do the big heavy dance on my body and I am a dead person. Or will be soon”.
Then a funny thing happened.
The bull paused for a moment and looked at me very intensely. Then he quickly walked away and made no more sounds.
What’s Bull for “YOU’RE HURTING ONE OF MY BABIES AND I’M GOING TO . . . Oh. It’s you!”
I swear that he had an embarrassed expression on his face.