Cow Racing


     I hadn’t seen our cow for two days.  So I went hunting for her.  I found her deep in the woods with a new baby.  All I could do was smile and yell “You have a baby!”  Yup, I’ve officially “gone country” when the sight of a new baby calf makes my day.  The smile quickly faded as I realized this must be the reason I had seen the same couple of coyotes circling the pastures.
     I knew it was going to rain the next couple of days and I was worried about the baby.  I called my brother (he used to do this stuff for fun) and asked what I should do.  He told me to get some cubes and see if I could lead “mama” to the barn and the calf would follow.  I loaded the 50 pound bag of cubes into the truck and headed back to the woods.  I tried rattling the bag to get mama’s attention and yelling “Yo Mama”, (yes, it felt as ridiculous as it sounded).  It DID get her attention, and she came out about 20 paces.  I closed the distance between us, carrying the bag of cubes and forgetting puppy was at my side.  None of the cows or bull we have are socialized, the Demented Duo (my parents) have neglected them for too long.
     I continued calling “Yo mama, come on mama”, as I rattled the bag and dumped some cubes on the ground.  I then backed up a ways so she could eat without feeling threatened.  As soon as “mama” got to the cubes and started to eat, puppy for some reason decided to run at her barking (jealousy?).  The cow lowered her head (yes, she has horns) and charged puppy.  Oh hell, stupid dog!  I yelled at puppy, who looked totally dejected as I loaded her into the cab of the truck.  I poured more cubes off the back of the truck and drove to the edge of the woods.  As expected, “mama” followed the food trail.  I got a good look at the baby during this process and realized he’s only a couple of days old, if that!  Poor little fellow is still very wobbly on his legs and decided to lay down and nap.
     “Mama” followed the truck, but only to the tree line.  She kept glancing anxiously back to the baby and finally went back to him, after eating all the cubes.  Damn!  I should have known this wasn’t going to be that easy!  Uh oh…you KNOW I’m going to come up with another “Lucy Hair-brained Idea”!  It seemed logical that baby can’t follow mama, he’s still too weak.  So if I TAKE baby, mama will follow and I can get them up to the barn where they’ll be safer and closer.  It’s a plan!
     I drove the truck with puppy back to the house.  It occurred to me that I don’t even know if I can lift that baby.  Hmmm, a definite wrinkle in the plan.  Well, I can wait until “mama” wanders off a little grazing, and get close enough to truly size up the baby.  It took all day, before I saw “mama” grazing out in front of the house.  I quickly calculated, that’s about 5 acres between her and the baby. Perfect.  I snuck out the back of the garage, puppy right at my heels.  Slowly and quietly as possible, we made our way out past the barn into the woods on foot.  On the way we passed several downed trees and brush piles, I realized if we got caught out there wasn’t a decent tree that I could shimmy up that wouldn’t break off.  This could be a problem, naaah…five acres is a long way, surely I can get out of mama’s way without any trouble.  How convenient I didn’t think about the broken ankle (torn ligaments) I have been nursing for almost a month.  Hey, I was on a mission!
     Puppy and I finally reached the baby.  Mama did good, he was laying down in a spot surrounded by about five trees sleeping.  He woke up when I started petting his little head, and the ever-jealous puppy started sniffing all over him.  I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face, he was so cute with his all white face and a red circle around one eye.  The baby never made a sound, as I petted and sized him up.  I quickly figured out, I could MAYBE lift him into the back of the truck.  But, we had come out on foot and there was no way I could carry him all the way back.  Oh well, we will have to try again WITH the truck.
     I stood up, preparing to leave when I heard “mama” let out a bawl that sent chills down my back.  She had spotted us, I still don’t know if she was mad at me or puppy.  Either way, she was pissed!  I looked at puppy and said, “Let’s go, she’s gonna f**kin’ KILL us!”  As we took off running for the barn, “mama” charged around the gate and ran into the woods, putting her on a direct line at us.  And putting her between us and the barn, and us between her and the baby.  I screamed at puppy “We are sooo SCREWED!”  All I could think of to do was keep moving and keep as many trees between us as possible.
     I never knew a cow could run so damn fast!  It was a matter of seconds, before she had us trapped behind a tree, still a long ways from the barn.  In my mind’s eye, I could see her tossing me into the air like a damn rodeo clown and catching me on those horns.  I wondered just how much this was going to hurt, if I survived.   “Mama” kept bellering at us, pawing the ground, every time I moved left or right she did the same, head lowered, ready to take me out.  I started talking to her, nonsensical crap that I hoped would soothe her anger.  “Baby’s OK mama, I just wanted to check on him.”  “He’s so pretty, I had to pet him, please don’t kill me.”
     Puppy had been right behind me all this time, I guess she finally figured out we were in a serious fix.  Puppy ran at the cow, letting her charge at her, while I moved stealthily in the opposite direction.  Trying to keep at least one tree between us as I moved away.  Unfortunately, puppy ran to me and “mama” trapped us again.  By this time our positions had changed to where our backs were facing the barn, and hers was towards the baby in a defensive posture.  Already out of breath, I threw up my hands and yelled “Alright enough, we didn’t hurt him, go on see for yourself.” “Mama” glanced back and realized she could get back to the baby and sauntered off that way.  I kept backing away until she reached the baby, and then I yelled at puppy “Run for your life!”  We had a 50 yard lead, but I had seen just how fast “mama” could run.  I was yelling “Please God, don’t let her follow!”  I was scared once we started running, “mama” would chase us down again.  Fortunately, “mama” was too engrossed with inspecting the baby for any damage she thought we caused to chase after us.  Me and puppy got through the corral by the barn, locking the gate behind me, I slowed to a walk and laughingly told puppy “That was just too close, let’s NOT do that again!”
     After going into the house and telling my mom all about our narrow escape, she couldn’t quit laughing.  I believe the baby is safe right where he is.  Even though it has been pouring rain for two days, I have taken the truck twice a day and left a bucket of cubes for “mama”.  She STILL hasn’t forgiven me,  because I’m only allowed to get so close before she lowers her head threatening to charge me.  Every day me and mom laugh about it, the kind of nervous laughter that always comes after a really close call.  What the hell was I thinking?  That I could actually outrun a pissed off cow?  I have seen enough nature shows showing large animals charging, next I’ll be in a foot race with a rhino or elephant…DUH.


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