It’s been a beautiful fall, with gorgeous sunny skies mixed with rain. For the past several weeks the cows have been home, enjoying the pasture, takin it easy and trying constantly to get through the fence to somewhere else. They figure once they’ve munched their way to one end of the field, there’s no point in munching their way back – might as well skip the second round and go straight to dessert (which they consider to be anything they can’t get at.)
So here they’ve been, sitting at the fence, looking longingly at the other side, some of them sneakily making their escapes when we’re not looking, never mind all the good grass at their feet.
But of course on the actual day we decided to let the herd across to the other field, everyone had scattered and no-one was the slightest bit interested in the open gate. In these types of situations you need something special…
Daisy’s not quite sure she’s a cow… You see, she was orphaned as a calf, and spent her first days sleeping in the basement getting warmed up and fed by a giant calf bottle. Once she’d gained some weight she moved to a little pen outside the ranch house – and she spent her days galavanting around the backyard, kicking up her heels, stepping on toes and generally trying to play with whoever came by to say hello, be it dog, person, or machine. Even when she was put back in the herd, she’s come home from the range straight to the ranch house instead of the field.
It turns out it’s really helpful to have a cow who thinks she’s part human. Daisy’s always there to save the day. When the kids all come home for Christmas, she’s there to give rides.
When the ranch is being featured on a cooking show, she pops right in to the interview to show the chef how friendly cows can be.
And when, (for instance this week) you need to get the cows across the road and you don’t want to saddle up the horses – all you need to do is get a grain bucket and find Daisy.
If you follow along with these next pictures you can see how Britt realized having a thousand pound cow (who loves grain and thinks she’s related) is maybe not the most easy-going way to get across a very big hayfield (Once Daisy gets her head in that bucket, there’s no lifting it until she’s good and done eating).
I got to watch this process from a distance: Brit gives Daisy a sniff of the bucket, pours out a handful of grain.
Brit walks ahead while Daisy follows eagerly, forgetting the grain on the ground, and all the cows in the area lift their heads to sniff the air.
Brit’s walk turns into a nervous little trot as Daisy’s caught onto a new fun game – get the grain bucket – and she outweighs Brit by… a lot.
Brit’s feet move faster… and so does Daisy’s.
Brit moves into an all out run as Daisy’s now determined to get that grain. Daisy’s running now too – and those big feet can move faster than you think, especially with grain right there in front of her nose. (Meanwhile, I’m giggling on the other side of the field, wondering who I’m rooting for – Daisy or Brit?)
It’s a good thing for a truck referee otherwise Daisy would have won get the grain bucket long before they’d hit half way. A thousand pound half cow/half human is not something you can deter very easily. But nonetheless. Daisy happily did the job. All the cows followed her in a trickle and then a flood.
Of course everyone was so excited at the thought of never before seen grass that once they’d started it was a full on gallop to see who could get the best grass first, and the river field was soon empty.
Sometimes, you just need a Daisy. Whether it’s to convince the herd of something good – or just for a laugh and a big tongued kiss hello.