Drowsy Water

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Wanderer

To the average eye, most cows are just the same. They eat. They moo. They walk around. They poop. They eat some more. They are cows; one of them is not much different than the next one. 

But, once you spend a little time with them, you start to see some 
personality. One might be really nice and eat out of your hand or 
come to the sound of your voice (if you are named Randy Sue), and another might be really mean and run you down every time she sees you (especially if you are named Justin). One might be a great mom, one might seem to forget she is a mom. Like most other animals, no two cows are the same. 

One cow, Cow #6, is especially full of personality. We call her The Wanderer. 


She is not just one of the herd. In fact, she seems to laugh at the idea of being part of the herd. How does that saying go? You know the one: "Well-behaved women rarely make history." This cow is not well-behaved and she sure seems to be making Drowsy Water Ranch history.


There she is, below, with her calf. In this photo, you need to take note of two things:
1. The Fence. 
See the fence at the bottom of the picture? She is on the WRONG SIDE of the fence. 

Rules don't really apply to this cow. She doesn't really adhere to common cow practices such as STAYING WITHIN FENCES! Nope, she just jumps right over them. 

As proof of this cow's anti-fence activity, here is a quick story: All of the cows were at a neighbor's house for a little bit this fall. We received numerous calls from these neighbors saying, "that cow is out again!" We'd go over there, put cow #6 back in the fence, walk the fence to check for holes, find no holes, shrug our shoulders, then get back in the truck and come home. 

The next day, the phone would ring, "that cow is out again", the neighbors would say in an increasingly irritated voice. 

Repeat the above sequence of events about 763 times and you'll get a feeling for our experience with this heifer. 

The next thing you might notice about the above photo is this:
2. Her calf. 

The calf is the WRONG COLOR. The mom, Cow #6, is a black angus cow. The bull that is out with the cows and breeds the cows is a black angus bull. Typically, black angus cows and black angus bulls make a black angus calf which, surprise! is usually SOLID BLACK. 
Clearly, something went terribly wrong in the breeding here.  You could say that some long lost trait from the gene pool is showing through. Or you could start putting two and two together. Here we have a cow that is a well-known wanderer...maybe, just maybe, she wasn't hanging out with the rest of the herd last summer. 




And then you might get to thinking of some possibilities. You might remember last fall's cattle round-up. There was a blog on the beautiful fall colors, the blue sky, the fun day, the cows, and a little ditty about how handsome I found the stranger, below, who was hanging innocently with our herd in the forest.
Apparently, I wasn't the only one that found his painted hide and long horns attractive and, apparently, this handsome bull wasn't so innocent.

 The Wanderer must have sought him out on one of her overnight jaunts away from the herd. I can just hear her mooing, 
"Hey buddy, you want to come back to my place? I have a lot of friends." 
And the bull, 
"Uh, what? Me? You talking to me? Well heck! I was just sick of these old cows I've been hanging around. I'd love to come meet your friends!" 




And so we have it, folks, two and two make one, one longhorn calf at Drowsy Water. 

Apologies if this story prompts any birds and bees discussion at your house.

We'll call it "Part I of the Legacy of the Wanderer."

Stay tuned for more on this special lady...er...maybe... if we can find her next time.