Friday, August 24, 2012

Greener Grass and Wars Lost

It is official; the grass across the fence is definitely greener. Well, OK with the current drought conditions it is not greener, but there must be something better about it. My cows sure seem to think it is better than the grass in the pasture and they keep helping themselves to it.
Each morning and evening I drive over to the pasture and what I find decides how my morning or evening will go. I hold my breath as I top the final hill, little black dots ahead leads me down the road to a bad day (literally). However, an empty road leads to a great big sigh of relief, at least until the next check.
If the cows can’t find a hole in the fence, they make one. Once they are loose, mayhem ensues. Let me give you an example of the mayhem my bovine cause. It’s the morning after the county fair; we are all gathered around the breakfast table, enjoying a leisurely breakfast of biscuits and gravy. I am sipping my second cup of coffee. Life is good, and then it happens.
I hear a faint mooing. At first I thought it was on the TV. It really didn’t make sense but I had convinced myself that the TV was the source. However, Jack heard the same mooing and he decided to answer with some stern barking of his own. That is when I saw the black cow pass by the front door. So much for the leisurely breakfast.
A lazy morning that was to be spent reflecting on the success of the fair was suddenly turned upside down. The troops were pressed into action and soon the cows and calves were turned around and headed back down the mile of road to the pasture. A broken gate post was the culprit and easily fixed, but the cows were not happy.
They made sure to voice their displeasure the whole time I fixed the fence. It was kind of like a chorus of air horns pointed in my direction. On top of being loud, they seemed to take turns, lobbing volley after volley of angry bovine protests. I wondered if their bawling alone might not knock the fence down.
Since that early morning sneak attack the cows have launched other assaults on my peace of mind and sanity. I may be winning the battles but I suspect they are eventually going to win the war. Eventually they will wear me down to the point that I move them to the next pasture.
One might think the cows are out of grass or maybe water is short. I am here to tell you that there is a plethora of grass and plenty of water in the pond. This leads to my conclusion that the grass is greener or at least more palatable across the fence (or in the ditch). Each day they spend their free time scouring the fence for weak spots to exploit. But I do look for silver linings and I have found a couple.
First, I have perfected the drive by cow check. If I take the time to slow down as I drive by the pasture the cows will immediately run to the fence to voice their protests. I now take the Mazda pickup instead of the Dodge diesel, stealth is the key to a successful drive by. I can now count my cows at 40 mph. actually; I have made it even simpler than that. I know if I can see the red cow and the bull, all the cows must be present.
Second, the fence along the road has never been in better shape. I can say, with a degree of certainty that I have been over every foot of the fence. I have patched holes and gaps that I never knew existed. Rotten wire has been replaced, gates have been strengthened and posts have been added.
Finally, I figure I have the cows primed and ready to move to the next pasture. I would guess that all I will have to do is open the gate and get out of the way. I can visualize the cows charging down the road and blasting into the next pasture. They might even close the gate behind themselves.
The reality probably is that they will not be happy in the next pasture either. The drought has turned the pastures into dry patches of bristly grasses that the finicky cows will only turn their noses up at. In any case, the sound of cows bawling in the distance has given me a nervous twitch and I see cows running down the road in my dreams. I may win one or two more battles but I suspect the war will be lost in the next week.

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