Sunday, May 08, 2016

Baxter Black - Trouble with newborns on the range

Being born is a traumatic experience! I, I guess I don’t? It’s an amazing blessing that we can’t recall much about our first days of existence.

That thought occurred to me as I stared over the fence at the prettiest little heifer calf. She was red with a white face and black eyelashes. Her mama was a black bally and the previous owner says she’d been bred to a Simmental bull. Sure made a dandy calf.

The week before I’d gone out to move my cows to new grass. At my place that is not as simple as opening a gate. It’s more like locking through the Panama Canal!

All the cows, save the aforementioned black bally herinafter referred to as SHE-WHO-BELLERS-THREATINGLY-AND-PAWS-THE-EARTH, were already through gate #1. I was riding Coyote, so I rode up  to push her up to the others. She refused and it was then I noticed the new calf hidden in the burdock. Dry, but less than a day old, I figgerd. Bluffing and dodging, SHE-WHO- had taken her calf down to the creek, waded across it and hid her in the weeds. She stood guard.

I spotted her.  Coyote wouldn’t cross the creek so I rode back and forth, flapping my arms wildly! SHE-WHO- responded by pawing the mud! I dismounted, jumped the creek and tried to get near the calf. I’d taken my rope, so I slapped at the calf as SHE-WHO- formed a one-man ox ring around her baby.

Coyote spooked and ran back to the corral! The calf spooked and ran over the top of me right through my hot wire fence! I chased her afoot across the big pasture, finally turning her back toward the creek which she splashed across! Then she raced up the hill, through a 4-strand bob wire fence and ducked down instinctively in the tall grass. I arrived wheezing like a chronic lunger! I snuck up on her and put the rope around her neck. She rose, bawling and crawled back through the bob wire draggin’ me and 30 foot of rope!

I glanced back to see that SHE-WHO- had torn down my hot wire and joined us!...

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